The Minnesota State Fair will not mandate masks or proof of vaccination for fairgoers this year.
What's new: Fair officials announced Wednesday that while both precautions are strongly encouraged, they won't be required when the fair opens Aug. 26.
Why it matters: The Great Minnesota Get-Together typically attracts millions of people over its 12-day run. Concerns about the Delta variant had prompted some to call for mandates to protect the safety of attendees and reduce the risk of spread.
What they're saying: Fair officials said mandating masks across the fairgrounds "would be extremely difficult for our organization to enforce."
- "We ask that those who attend do so because they are willing to follow our health guidance — not because it's mandated, but because it's the right thing to do," organizers said in a statement.
What to watch: It remains to be seen whether the decision impacts attendance. Fair officials acknowledged that "by urging rather than requiring people to follow current guidance, many of our usual fair fans will not be comfortable attending."
- "The current health situation is not an ideal backdrop for the Great Minnesota Get-Together tradition," the statement reads.
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