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More businesses require proof of vaccination amid winter surge

Fair State is one of several places across the metro now requiring proof of vaccination as cases, fueled by the omicron variant, continue to climb.

MINNEAPOLIS — If you're planning to hit the town over the next few weekends, you may want to have your proof of vaccination in tow as more places are tightening up on COVID-19 safety protocols amid this recent surge. 

With all the holiday cheer comes the reality of another year in the fight against COVID, leading many businesses like Fair State Brewing Cooperative to take extra precautions to protect both patrons and employees. 

"Our planning for this started way back in I would say late October," said Niko Tonks, Co-founder of Fair State Brewing Cooperative. 

Fair State is one of several places across the metro now requiring proof of vaccination as cases, fueled by the omicron variant, continue to climb.

"Like today, Wednesday was the first day that everyone in production, everyone back of house like in meetings, during the day we're all back to wearing masks," explained Tonks. He went on to say, "we've changed the vaccine requirement for our staff to include a booster."

The potential for large gatherings isn't just limited to restaurants and bars either, as tens of thousands of hockey lovers are expected to once again take over Target Field New Year's Day for the annual NHL Winter Classic. 

As of right now, proof of vaccinations or a recent negative COVID test aren't required, but masks are strongly encouraged in indoor spaces during the event.

"I wouldn't be surprised to see more places like us follow suit and enact this thing as we get into January, as omicron continues to get crazier and crazier," said Tonks. 

Crazy times, trying to find safe ways to keep this winter's holiday cheer alive. 

"Until we get to the point where really cases are super low, and we're into that endemic phase that we're all  kind of waiting for that's where we're at yeah," said Tonks. 

The protocols for this year's Winter Classic are subject to change.

Organizers are planning to share final safety plans for the event Thursday afternoon.  

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