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Twin Cities join other US tourist spots turning to indoor vaccine or testing mandates

<i>Mario Tama/Getty Images</i><br/>Want to drink at a French Quarter bar in New Orleans? You need to have proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
Want to drink at a French Quarter bar in New Orleans? You need to have proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter.

By Forrest Brown, CNN

If you want to enjoy an indoor meal, drinks or entertainment in some of the most popular urban escapes in the United States, you better have proof of vaccination or, in some cases, at least a negative result from a recent Covid-19 test with you.

Some big tourism spots, such as New York City, have already had mandates in place for months. But with the highly infectious Omicron variant of coronavirus rapidly spreading, more US cities are introducing restrictions.

The mayors of Minnesota’s Twin Cities announced January 12 that they’re joining the list of places imposing mandates (see more below). It’s a good thing to keep in mind, especially if you’re traveling from a part of the country that isn’t as strict about masks, testing and vaccines.

As of January 12, here are some of the major US destinations that are already imposing mandates regarding vaccination and testing or have announced plans to do so soon:

Boston

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said the city will be requiring proof of Covid-19 vaccination for indoor dining, fitness venues, theaters and arenas starting Saturday.

The mandate will apply to patrons and employees and will come online in phases.

For people 12 and older, proof of a single dose of vaccine will be required starting January 15. Proof of full vaccination will be required February 15.

Starting March 1, children 5 to 11 must show proof of one dose of vaccine. Starting May 1, children 5 to 11 must show proof of full vaccination.

Learn more at Boston.gov, including acceptable ways to show proof of vaccination.

And here is a link to the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention’s website with the criteria for full vaccination.

Chicago

Since January 3, the nation’s third-largest city has required proof of vaccination for most businesses that serve food or drinks.

The new requirement is in effect for anyone 5 and older at restaurants, gyms, theaters, bars and other entertainment and sporting venues that serve food and beverages.

All patrons must be fully vaccinated to enter these establishments, and there is no testing option. Unvaccinated employees of these venues will have a test-out option.

Grocery stores, soup kitchens, schools, places of worship, office buildings and residential buildings are exempt. Learn more at Chicago.gov.

Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, all customers served in the indoor part of a food or beverage establishment and other types of indoor venues must show proof of full vaccination before entry. Enforcement began on November 29. Examples of covered locations include:

• Restaurants, bars, coffee shops, breweries and hotel ballrooms
• Gyms and fitness venues
• Movie theaters, bowling alleys, arcades, pool halls, live performance venues, sports arenas and museums

Find out more details, including limited exceptions, at the SafePassLA website.

Also, California now requires universal masking in indoor public settings through February 15 at least, California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly has said. Learn more from the California Department of Health.

Minneapolis and St. Paul

Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis and Mayor Melvin Carter of St. Paul have announced that starting January 19, patrons will have to show proof of vaccination or a negative result from a Covid-19 test when visiting restaurants or attending events that serve food or drinks.

During a news conference on January 12, both mayors said the mandates are in response to the Covid-19 surge. They said the policies were temporary.

People in the Twin Cities will be required to show they’ve been fully vaccinated and have either taken the double dose Covid-19 vaccine or the single dose vaccine, Carter explained.

Those who choose not to get vaccinated will have to show a negative result from a Covid-19 test. Self-rapid tests will not be accepted, and patrons will have to show proof of a negative PCR or rapid antigen test that was administered by a medical professional within the last 72 hours, both mayors said.

Children younger than 2 are exempt from the mandates. The policy will become effective January 26 for ticketed events.

New Orleans

Down in the Gulf region, foodie and party favorite New Orleans also has a mandate in place.

Anyone 5 or older must have proof of at least one vaccine shot — or a negative result from a Covid-19 test taken within the past 72 hours — to enter many indoor venues that appeal to tourists.

These include:

• Restaurants, bars and breweries
• Gyms and indoor fitness centers
• Sports complexes
• Concert and music halls
• Event spaces such as hotel ballrooms
• Pool halls, bowling alleys and arcades
• Casinos

Starting February 1, the city will require proof of full vaccination for anyone 5 or older or a negative result of a Covid test taken within the past 72 hours. Get important details at ready.nola.gov.

New York City

The “Key to NYC” mandate has been in effect since September 13 and has been further tightened since then.

Restaurants, movie theaters, meeting spaces, nightclubs, concert halls, fitness centers, sports arenas, live arts, museums and other venues are open — but their indoor spaces are open only to vaccinated patrons 12 and older who are fully vaccinated.

Children 5 to 12 must show proof of at least one dose of vaccine. Starting January 29, children 5 to 11 must show proof of full vaccination. People who receive the one dose of Johnson & Johnson are considered fully vaccinated.

There is no testing option. Find out more at the “Key to NYC” website.

Philadelphia

Philadelphia requires proof of full Covid-19 vaccination for admission to many indoor public spaces.

The mandate went into effect January 3. The first two weeks of the mandate, January 3 through 17, have a grace period where establishments may accept proof of a negative Covid-19 test result taken within the past 24 hours instead of proof of vaccination.

Starting January 18, customers 12 and older must be fully vaccinated to enter. Children who are 5 years and 3 months old to 11 years must have received at least one shot.

Starting February 3, children who are 5 years and 3 months old to 11 years old must have received a second shot.

Among the types of establishments covered by the mandate: indoor restaurant spaces and bars; cafes within museums; catering halls and food courts; and entertainment venues, conventions and casinos where food is served. Find out more, including exceptions, from the City of Philadelphia.

San Francisco

West Coast travel darling San Francisco requires proof of full vaccination to visit bars, restaurants, gyms and other indoor entertainment establishments for patrons 12 and older.

A negative Covid-19 test can’t be used in lieu of proof of vaccination in San Francisco.

There are also updated mask requirements through January 31. Get more details at SF.gov.

Seattle

Seattle requires that patrons 12 and older be able to show proof of full vaccination or present a negative Covid-19 test result to enter indoor restaurants and bars, indoor sports events and outdoor sports events with more than 500 people. Learn more from King County.

Washington, DC

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Wednesday, December 21, that the city will require proof of vaccination for restaurants, food halls, nightclubs, gyms, concert halls, sports arenas and other gathering places for patrons 12 and older.

On January 15, the vaccine requirement for gathering places will go into effect. Patrons will be required to show proof of at least one dose.

Starting February 15, patrons will be required to show proof of two doses. Click on coronavirusdc.gov to learn more.

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Top image: The Minneapolis skyline. (Jim Mone/AP) CNN’s Evan Simko-Bednarski, Kay Jones, Mirna Alsharif, Sarah Fortinsky and Caroll Alvarado contributed to this article.

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