Testing and vaccination policy implementation
Effective Jan. 19, 2022, any space of public accommodation in the City of Minneapolis that offers indoor dining or beverage service shall admit only those people for indoor dining or beverage consumption who furnish proof of:
- Being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or
- A negative COVID-19 molecular (PCR/NAAT) or antigen test result for a sample obtained within three calendar days of entry.
Patrons who will be indoors for less than 15 minutes, such as when picking up a take-out food order, do not need to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test.
Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask onsite while not actively eating and/or drinking.
A person is fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving:
- The second dose in a two-dose series of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, or
- A single dose in a one-dose approved COVID-19 vaccine.
Indoor vs. outdoor spaces
- A tent with two (2) or fewer sides is considered outdoors, and customers are not required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test.
- A tent with three (3) or more sides is considered to be an indoor space, and customers are required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test. Customers need to follow masking guidelines when not actively eating or drinking.
This requirement shall become effective January 26th at 8:00 a.m. for any space of public accommodation holding a ticketed event, as that term is defined in the Emergency Regulation.
Tell your customers proof of being fully vaccinated or a negative test within three days is required for indoor dining.
- Vaccine or testing requirement sign in English
- Vaccine or testing requirement sign in Hmong
- Vaccine or testing requirement sign in Somali
- Vaccine or testing requirement sign in Spanish
Help your employees know what to look for when verifying vaccination status.
Businesses and people that must follow the order
This proof of vaccination or negative test requirement applies to places that offer indoor dining or beverage service including:
- Indoor restaurant spaces or coffee shops
- Cafes within larger spaces (e.g., museum cafes)
- Sports venues that serve food or drink for onsite consumption
- Movie theaters
- Bowling alleys
- Other entertainment venues that serve food or drink for onsite consumption
- Conventions (if food is being served)
- Catering halls
- Food court seating areas, if the area is exclusive to a specific restaurant
Organizations where the order does not apply
This vaccine or testing order does not apply to:
- K-12 and early childcare settings
- Congregate care facilities or other residential or healthcare facilities
- Shared consumption areas not exclusive an individual space of public accommodation
- Businesses and/or food service locations that provide take out service only for off-site consumption
- Any location where food or drink is consumed as part of a religious practice
- Any portion of a location that is outdoors, meaning the area is fully open to the outside on two or more sides
- Grocery stores, convenience stores, bookstores or other businesses that primarily sell packaged food and other articles for offsite use, except in seated dining areas within those stores
- Soup kitchens or other similar sites serving vulnerable populations (e.g., People Serving People)
- Masked people entering an indoor business for less than 15 minutes to pick up food, use the bathroom or other quick activity
This requirement does not apply to:
- Children under age 5, who cannot be tested easily for COVID-19
- Athletes, performers, and support staff (such as coaches, trainers, road crews and similar support staff) competing or performing at any space of public accommodation. The venue must produce a written safety plan upon request.
Sufficient proof of vaccination
Proof may be demonstrated by displaying:
- An official vaccine record
- A photo or hard copy of CDC vaccination card
- State of Minnesota Docket app
- Private, third-party applications designed to allow people to upload and save their vaccination card and negative COVID test results
- A photo or hard copy of an official vaccination record of a vaccine administered outside the United States for one of the following vaccines: AstraZeneca/SK Bioscience, Serum Institute of India/COVISHIELD and Vaxzevria, Sinopharm or Sinovac
Sufficient proof of negative test
- Printout or digital copy of the result of a PCR or antigen test from a sample collected within three days
- Self-administered antigen test (home tests) do not qualify under this regulation
Enforcement of the Testing or Vaccination Policy will be on a complaint basis.
If a complaint is made to 311 that a business is not following the policy, an inspector will reach out. The City will take an education-first approach to enforcement and make every attempt to work with the business before issuing any citations or fines.
Inspectors will be looking to see that the business has a system in place for checking proof of vaccination or negative test.
Report noncompliance and enforcement
- Reporting noncompliance should be done through 311. Depending on the nature of the complaint, the appropriate City agency will respond.
Stricter policies than required under the order
- Stricter policies can be required by your business as long as it is not discriminatory or otherwise unlawful.
Working with your customers
How to check for proof of vaccination or negative test upon entry
It is up to each business to implement a process that makes sense for their service model. We recommend posting signage requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test at each point of entry. Some sample approaches to consider:
- Restaurants with a host stand: Check for proof of vaccination or a negative test when a customer checks in.
- Restaurants without a host stand: Check for proof of vaccination or a negative test by the server at the first interact with a seated customer.
- Counter service: Check for proof of vaccination at the point of ordering when asking if a customer would like their order for dining in or if it’s a to-go order.
- Bars: Check for proof of vaccination or a negative test at the door along with IDs, or bartender asks at the bar when the customer sits down.
- Venues with ticketed events: Check for proof of vaccination or a negative test at the point of entry when checking tickets and/or IDs.
- Catering/Rental Halls: For rental halls with private events (e.g. weddings) an event coordinator can work with the party to communicate the standards for the venue. The party may choose to work with the event planner or host to gather proof of vaccination in advance of the event or identify staff to verify at the point of entry to the event.
Returning “regular” customers need to provide proof of vaccination or testing
Businesses may choose to record that they’ve checked proof of vaccination for regular customers. Keeping copies of proof of vaccination documents is not needed or recommended. The business might consider keeping a record of the name of the person, type of vaccine proof provided, and document who verified the information.
If customers choose to use a negative test instead, new documentation would be needed each time as the documentation expires after three days.
How to respond to customers who are unable to get vaccinated, due to a religious or medical reason
- Any customer who is not able to provide a proof of vaccination should provide a negative test.
- You do not need to ask for any documentation of their medical or religious exemption.
- If they do not have a negative test available, you can offer takeout or outdoor seating
Children under 5 are exempt from providing proof of vaccination or a negative test.
Suggestions to customers who don’t have their vaccination (CDC) card
- The Docket app can pull immunization records from State of Minnesota health records. If the customer has a smartphone, this option can take less than five minutes to retrieve.
- Some may also be able to download a COVID-19 immunization record directly from their primary care provider (e.g. through MyChart, MyHealthRecords).
- Let them know they can also provide proof of a negative test.
Can a customer use the results of a workplace testing program to show proof of a negative test?
Yes, if test results are sent directly to the employer, a letter from the employer is sufficient. The letter must include:
- An explanation of the employer testing program
- Customer's name
- Test date
- Test result
What to do if customers refuse to show proof of vaccination or a negative test
- Businesses can refuse service to anyone who refuses to show a proof of vaccination or negative test
- Businesses may offer an accommodation, such as outdoor seating or takeout, where available
What to do if I think a customer provides false documentation
Businesses are responsible for ensuring they have a system in place for checking proof of vaccination or a negative test, and it is expected the vast majority of customers will follow the guidelines in good faith. Businesses are not liable for individual customer misconduct.
How to apply to parties and celebrations, such as weddings
- Private parties such as wedding receptions with food and drink must follow the testing or vaccination requirement if they are being held indoors at a place of public accommodation. This includes catering halls, event centers, or restaurants, as well as churches.
- The event venue is responsible for checking vaccination status or ensuring that the event host and/or event planner is aware of this requirement and should work with them to communicate with invited guests.
- Events that do not serve food or drink are exempted from the testing or vaccination requirement, but do need to follow mask guidelines.
- Private parties that are held at a person’s home or other non-public places are not covered by this requirement.
Additional order compliance information
You can find information about this order by reviewing Mayor's Emergency Regulation
Additional COVID-19 vaccines
The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective and free. Learn more at the City of Minneapolis COVID-19 Vaccine webpage.
To find a vaccination site or schedule an appointment, go to the Vaccine Connector or call the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Public Hotline at 1-833-431-2053 to find a location near you or schedule an appointment.
Americans are now able to request free coronavirus tests from the federal government beginning January 19 using a federal website. Request tests by visiting www.covidtests.gov. Tests will be limited to 4 per address and may take 7-12 days to arrive. There are no purchase or shipping costs for the tests.
Community testing sites with both the rapid (nasal swab) and PCR (saliva) tests are available at no cost to all Minnesotans. Minnesotans can make an appointment or walk in to COVID-19 community testing sites.
Minnesotans may also order a test through the state’s at-home COVID-19 testing program.
Additionally, Minnesotans may find a testing option nearby through the state’s Find testing locations map.