By Adam Duxter

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – After a week’s preparation, restaurants and diners in Minneapolis and St. Paul ushered in a new era of COVID-19 protections Wednesday — mandatory COVID vaccination or negative tests for customers over the age of five.

In northeast Minneapolis, Centro greeted its lunch crowd with notices on the door. No card or test, no entry.

READ MORE: Wisconsin Republicans Reject Recalling Biden Votes, Removing Vos

“We’re just going to try and make it as smooth and as integrated as possible so it’s not like ‘Hey, we need this before you order’ it’s just going to be part of it,'” said manager Jeremy Bue. “We’re not going to get on them like the police or something and say ‘Show us your card!’ we’ll just ask them to have it out.”

Bue says he doesn’t anticipate confrontations from customers not wanting to comply with the mandate, but rather says most of Centro’s customer base is willing to comply with the order.

“Our clientele is a lot of people in the city. I don’t think we’re going to have a problem,” he said.

“I think it gives me peace of mind knowing that people are vaccinated when they’re out, eating and being around people,” said Tori Bergee, who visited Centro for lunch Wednesday afternoon. “It’s kind of one more of those little pieces of security to know you’re not going and exposing yourself or your family to people that are sick.”

READ MORE: Tow Boat Hits Lock And Dam On Mississippi River In Wisconsin

“It’s just taking one more thing out of my wallet,” said Jordan Jaszczak, who also dined at Centro Wednesday “It’s just not that big of a deal.”

On Minneapolis’ south side, another restaurant, St. Paul Bagelry, says they’ll be pivoting solely to carryout orders under the new rules.

“We are a very quick, casual restaurant,” said owner Peggy Teed. “So we just decided to not slow things down by checking status.”

Teed says the store’s priority is to safety, but having staff enforce the new rule could potentially slow them down during their busiest times of the week.

“It’s all about accuracy and quickness,” Teed said. “We didn’t feel like we were able in that type of a restaurant to take the time to check.”

MORE NEWS: Minneapolis North H.S. Principal Will Now Finish School Year

“It’s our business to survive it,” Bue said. “We’ve just adapted. This vaccination card thing is just a tiny bump compared to what we’ve been through.”

Adam Duxter