Following about two and a half months of being shut down to curb the spread of Covid-19, retail stores, restaurants, bars, and more will begin reopening in a matter of days, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Monday afternoon.
Under the governor’s new executive order, retailers will be able to welcome customers back on June 4; restaurants and bars can reopen for in-person dining and drinking on June 8. Reopening shops will have to adhere to social distancing guidelines; restaurants and bars will be required to operate at 50 percent of their normal capacity.
Libraries, museums, children’s day camps, and such in-home services as house cleaning will also be able to reopen on June 8. The new executive order allows outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people, provided individuals wear masks and maintain six feet of space between themselves. Indoor gatherings will continue to be limited to no more than 10 people.
Other businesses and activities that involve close contact among people and shared surfaces, such as gyms, hair salons, indoor theaters, performance spaces, amusement parks, bowling alleys, trampoline parks, bingo halls, arcades, and tattoo parlors will remain closed.
“The data has shown that we are ready to carefully move our state into the next phase of the MI Safe Start Plan, but we owe it to our brave frontline heroes to get this right,” Whitmer said in a press release issued Monday. “While Michiganders are no longer required to stay home, we must all continue to be smart and practice social distancing, and encourage those who meet the criteria to get tested for Covid-19.”
The MI Safe Start Plan was created by Whitmer and members of the Michigan Economic Recovery Council, which includes health and business leaders from throughout the state.
Under the new executive order, Michiganders must continue to wear facial coverings when in enclosed public spaces. Additionally, they should continue to work from home to the maximum extent possible, the governor said.
“Hospitalization numbers are down, our frontline workers have PPE to last them several weeks, and the number of positive cases and deaths are declining,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive. “We will continue to monitor the data and work closely with local health departments to ensure Michiganders practice safe social distancing. On behalf of our health care professionals and first responders on the front lines, we must all be smart and be safe.”
In Michigan, there have been 57,532 reported cases of Covid-19 and 5,516 deaths, according to state health officials. There have been 645 reported cases of Covid-19 in Muskegon County and 37 deaths, according to Muskegon County Public Health.
Other requirements detailed in Whitmer’s executive order issued Monday stipulate that:
- Businesses must maintain six feet of separation between parties.
- No buffets or self-serve beverage stations.
- Waiting areas should be closed and customers should wait in their cars for seating.
- Patrons should wear face coverings until they are seated.
- Hosts and servers must wear face coverings in dining areas.
- Employees must wear face coverings and gloves in kitchens or food preparation areas.
To see the entire executive order, please click here.