Restaurant Association Pres. Pleased Duluth 30-Day-Mask Mandate Ends

DULUTH, Minn. — Mayor Emily Larson imposed the 30-day mask mandate after a tense council meeting about the subject, in January. Now some in the restaurant industry welcome its end, while others say their employees will keep their masks on for some time.

Mayor Larson imposed the mandate to take some of the pressure off of overwhelmed healthcare systems, with strong support from both Essentia Health and St. Luke’s, now Larson says cases are starting to go down in the Duluth area.

Tony Bronson, President of the Duluth Restaurant Association, and Executive with Grandma’s Restaurant Company, questioned how effective the masks were, just to enter and exit restaurant buildings, as guests have been able to remove their masks while eating and drinking.

Bronson says it was simply another obstacle nearly two years into the pandemic that wasn’t helping the already struggling industry.

Now, he and his employees are excited the mandate is over.

“Restaurants, I think just the general public are all happy that masks are going away, at least for a short period of time, we’re still encouraging our staff, if they feel comfortable wearing a mask that they certainly can, anybody coming in the door can certainly be wearing a mask, but it’s nice that people have the choice again, and it seems to be at least a publically health-minded choice they can make at this point so, we’re happy,” Tony Bronson, President Of Duluth Local Restaurant Association said.

And Jason Vincent, Owner of the Boat Club and Vanilla Bean restaurants, sent a statement to FOX 21 on the mask mandate ending:

“Although the mask mandate ends today, all our staff at all 3 of our locations will continue to wear them for the foreseeable future.  We need case numbers and infection rates to continue to drop before we’ll make them optional for staff.  We’re certainly headed in the right direction.”

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