ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Several Minnesota breweries and distilleries are offering a shot and a beer to adults to encourage them to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Gov. Tim Walz announced the “Cheers to the Vaccine” campaign Friday in partnership with the Craft Brewers Guild and the Minnesota Distillers Guild. It's separate from a list of incentive giveaways he announced Thursday, including Minnesota State Fair tickets, fishing licenses and state park passes.
As of Friday, all statewide coronavirus restrictions for Minnesota bars, restaurants, event centers — and all other businesses — had been lifted under a plan that Walz announced earlier. However, local governments and individual businesses can still maintain restrictions. Mask and social distancing mandates remain in effect in Minneapolis, St. Paul and some other communities, for example.
Establishments participating in “Cheers to the Vaccine” will offer free or discounted drinks through June 30 to Minnesota residents 21 and older who provide proof that they have received at least one vaccine dose. The limit is one drink per person.
Several of the breweries and distilleries are also planning on-site vaccination clinics in the coming weeks. Details will be announced by the establishments themselves.
“Small businesses all over Minnesota have stepped up throughout the pandemic and I’m grateful so many breweries, wineries, and distilleries are now going the extra mile to help keep our state safe and end this pandemic,” Walz, a Democrat, said in a statement.
Minnesota is still striving to reach its goal of having 70% of residents 16 and older vaccinated against COVID-19 by July 1. The state currently is at 64.2%. The Minnesota Department of Health reports more than 600,000 confirmed or probable cases and 7,408 deaths since the pandemic began.