MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Minneapolis and St. Paul reinstated indoor mask mandates Wednesday as the state grapples with a surge in COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey signed an emergency regulation reinstating the city-wide mask police, which requires patrons, employees and visitors to wear a mask in businesses and places of public accommodation including, but not limited to, retail stores, stadiums, arenas, convention centers and recreational facilities.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter issued an executive order requiring masks to be worn in all licensed businesses and city-controlled facilities. The mandate does not apply to apply businesses in St. Paul, only the roughly 1,800 places licensed by the city. That covers most public-facing businesses in the city, like restaurants, event centers, and theaters.
The city is encouraging all businesses to continue to require masking indoors.
The mask mandates for both cities will go into effect at 5 p.m. on Thursday.
Masks required for Minnesota Vikings, Wild games
As part of the change, fans attending the final Vikings game on Sunday and fans at future Wild games will now be required to wear masks.
U.S. Bank Stadium will fall under Minneapolis' mandate while Xcel Energy Center, a city-owned facility, will obey by the mandate as well.
In a statement, the Wild said: "As a result of the Mask Requirement announced today by Mayor Melvin Carter and the City of Saint Paul, all fans attending events at Xcel Energy Center, including Saturday’s Minnesota Wild game against the Washington Capitals, will be required to wear a face covering at all times inside the arena, except when eating or drinking. We will continue to comply with state and local guidelines in the best interests of health and safety."
The Vikings added: "Due to the city-wide mask mandate announced today by Mayor Frey and the City of Minneapolis, fans attending Sunday’s Vikings-Bears game at U.S. Bank Stadium will be required to wear face coverings at all times inside the stadium, except when eating or drinking. As we have throughout the pandemic, we will continue to comply with state and local guidelines in the best interests of health and safety."