ST. ANTHONY, Minn. (WCCO) — Next week, Minneapolis and St. Paul will enact new COVID-19 restrictions.
Anyone 5 years and older will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test in the past three days to enter restaurants and bars.
The new rules have businesses in neighboring towns wondering if changes or customers could soon be coming their way.
Opening last summer, Steele and Hops has successfully established itself in the St. Anthony community. And management is expecting to be bit busier with visitors from Minneapolis and St. Paul in the near future.
“Since we are right on the border, there’s gonna be a lot of people that don’t have a vaccine or don’t want to go get that COVID test, and we’re welcoming any people coming in, any types of customers,” said general manager Sarah Berggreen.
It’s a feeling shared at Lindey’s Prime Steak House in Arden Hills, just a short drive north of St. Paul.
“People tend to resist restrictions, rules if they don’t feel they’re necessary. So we may see some migration out here,” said assistant manager Grant Lindemer.
Masks are recommended but not mandated at Lindey’s. Lindemer said checking to see if customers are vaccinated or tested negative for the virus before entering could be a challenging addition.
“The concept here has always been to keep things simple. Each layer of requirement makes it more complicated and there’s more opportunity for things to go wrong,” he said.
That being said, Lindemer knows rules can change quickly in the pandemic.
“Each municipality is making their own decisions on that, and so we’re kind of in uncharted territory,” he said.
That’s why being ready for potential change is on both managers’ minds. Berggreen said her staff are quick learners if new restrictions were enacted in St. Anthony.
“I think we’d be prepared for anything that happens in the future,” she said.
While the new requirements might turn some people away, they could also bring people in. Fair State Brewing in Minneapolis has been requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test since mid-December.
Staff there told WCCO they’ve had customers who specifically visited the brewery because of the strict requirements, saying it made them feel safe.