Minneapolis, St. Paul lift mask mandates for businesses effective immediately

The Twin Cities implemented the requirements in public spaces of accommodation in January as the omicron variant flared in Minnesota.

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ST. PAUL — Face mask requirements in Twin Cities bars, restaurants, stores, schools and other places of public accommodation were lifted Thursday, Feb. 24, a little more than a month after they were put in place.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter in separate news releases on Thursday said they were encouraged by recent downward trends in COVID-19-related hospitalizations and weekly average case numbers, as the omicron variant's surge appeared to fall off in the region. And they said making requirements would remain in place for municipal buildings in both cities.

"Today, the Twin Cities has a good reason to be hopeful for the future, and I know our residents will continue stepping up for one another as we navigate this next phase together," Frey said in a statement.

Both city leaders said they would continue monitoring COVID-19 data and make public health decisions accordingly moving forward. Leaders in Duluth and Rochester allowed city mask requirements to lapse earlier this month.

Latvian Prime Minister Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš met with Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz Wednesday ahead of a six-day Latvian song and dance festival in St. Paul.

Follow Dana Ferguson on Twitter  @bydanaferguson , call 651-290-0707 or email

Dana Ferguson is a Minnesota Capitol Correspondent for Forum News Service. Ferguson has covered state government and political stories since she joined the news service in 2018, reporting on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the divided Statehouse and the 2020 election.
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