St. Paul could lift vaccine mandate for restaurants in coming days

As the omicron surge continues to fall off, COVID-19 vaccine mandates put in place for restaurants could be lifted sooner than expected in the Twin Cities.

The restrictions in both cities, requiring restaurants and other venues to check customers for vaccination or a recent negative test, went into effect in mid-January.

Concerns over the impact of the mandate led some businesses in Minneapolis to sue the city, asking the court to suspend the mandate citing a loss of business. A judge ultimately ruled against that motion.

The mandate in St. Paul was set to expire at the end of the month. However, FOX 9 has learned the city is planning to end it much sooner. The mandate in St. Paul was set to expire at the end of the month, but with the COVID-19 situation improving drastically, cities are weighing

In Golden Valley, a citywide mask mandate has been in effect since mid-January. Now, a month later, Mayor Pro Tempore Maurice Harris says next week the city council will weigh removing the mandate. They’ve been reviewing data at city council meetings each week, to keep track of how numbers were trending.

"We’re out of this current spike, trending down, there may not be a need to continue to mandate based on those factors," said Harris.

In Minneapolis, Mayor Frey says he hopes to lift Minneapolis’ vaccine mandate for dine-in restaurants as soon as evidence supports the decision. The end of the week is a possibility, but he wants to review data with the experts.

Across the river, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter is already there, with his staff saying: "[Mayor Carter] remains in close contact with partners at Saint Paul-Ramsey County Public Health, and is hopeful he’ll be able to lift the order this week."

Monday, both Mayor Frey and Mayor Carter told us they were unavailable for interviews to go deeper into what is ahead during this pandemic.