(Minneapolis, MN) -- It will soon require proof of a COVID-19 vaccine or a negative test to eat and drink inside Minneapolis and St. Paul bars and restaurants. The new mandates begin Wednesday January 19th. Mayor Jacob Frey knows there will be some pushback but says "this is a critical next step to avoid closures, we want to stay open, and we need to stay safer." Frey says the omicron variant surge is causing pileups at testing sites and overwhelming hospitals and health care workers. The new COVID rules will be enforced at Minnesota Timberwolves and Wild games and other ticketed events on January 26th.