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Whitmer announces tentative Feb.1st date for restaurants to reopen

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 6:11 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) -(01/13/21)-”If numbers continue to head in the right direction. Our hope is that we will be able to resume indoor dining with strong safety measures in place on February 1st,” said Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

It’s a tentative date for Michigan restaurants and bars to reopen for in-person dining.

“Our restaurant owners have made considerable sacrifices over the past 10 months to keep communities safe, and to save lives. And there’s no question it’s been hard for the owners for their employees. I know that it has not been easy” Whitmer said.

For Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, that has meant restricting the way restaurants and bars have been able to operate in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19- for nearly a year.

But during today’s coronavirus state update, few details were given on what the those lifted restrictions will look like... including potentially limiting capacity.

“We’re working on a path to allow indoor dining at restaurants with safety measures such as mass requirements. Capacity limits, and a curfew starting on February one, we’ll have more details to announce on this plan in the coming days. " Whitmer said.

“Indoor dining brings risk because it involves taking off masks. We will have more to say soon about steps to mitigate these risks as best as possible, based on our experience with the pandemic reducing the number of people in restaurants and improving ventilation,” MDHHS Director Robert Gordon said.

While the state didn’t release specifics on the reopening plan - there was a reminder - it isn’t a guarantee:

“Now is not the time to let down our guard our actions on February 1 will depend on what happens with the pandemic between for the remainder of January we continue to advise.” Gordon said.

In the meantime. Whitmer announced more help for those workers struggling to stay afloat with an Employee Assistance Grants Program-- for people who work in hospitality and entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food service sectors, as well as the gym and fitness sectors..

It includes grants of up to $1650.

You can apply from January 15th to January 25th.

“These Michiganders have made great sacrifices and continue to make great sacrifices as we fade COVID-19.” Whitmer said.

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