Minneapolis lifts ban on bar service as COVID-19 numbers decline

As COVID-19 cases continue to trend in the right direction, Minneapolis is lifting its ban on counter service at bars and restaurants.

Last summer, the city issued the ban on counter service as COVID-19 cases were spiking and with many cases linked to exposure at bars.

Mayor Frey kept the order in effect in January, as bars and restaurants were reopened after a second COVID-19 pause over the holidays.

Since the reopening, Mayor Frey says case levels have remained low enough for the city to make the switch. In the past week, the city says there have been no outbreaks linked to Minneapolis establishments.

Frey called the change "another small pivot towards normalcy" but promised data would continue to drive the city's decisions in respect to the pandemic.

Some bars and restaurants said the ban has been a blow to business, with some smaller spots, which greatly rely on counter service, saying they we're sure how much longer they could last with the restriction in place.

The change goes into effect immediately.