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Michigan restaurants allowed to increase indoor dining capacity

Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 2:12 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Michigan restaurants can serve double the number of customers this weekend.

Effective Friday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will allow restaurants to increase indoor dining capacity to 50% and they can remain open until 11 p.m. Restaurants have been limited to 25% capacity with a 10 p.m. curfew since indoor dining reopened on Feb. 1.

Tables still must be spaced 6 feet apart and no more than six people will be allowed to sit at a time.

Nursing homes can reopen for visitors and they are encouraged to allow group dining or other activities for residents. Family members will be able to visit relatives after receiving a negative COVID-19 test if the facility has not reported a positive coronavirus case in 14 days.

Visitors will be required to wear face masks, remain 6 feet from all residents and don other personal protective equipment as required by the facility at all times.

State health officials also are loosening restrictions on indoor private residential gatherings, public gatherings, retail stores and entertainment venues. The following restrictions are scheduled to remain in place until April 19:

  • Indoor non-residential gatherings are limited to 25 people, allowing public meetings and other small indoor gatherings to resume.
  • Indoor residential gatherings are increasing to a limit of 15 people from three households while outdoor residential gatherings are increasing to a limit of 50 people.
  • Outdoor non-residential gatherings are limited to 300 people, allowing larger outdoor events to resume as warmer spring weather moves into Michigan.
  • Indoor entertainment venues like movie theaters and bowling alleys are allowed to be at 50% capacity with a limit of up to 300 people.
  • Exercise facilities are allowed to reach 30% capacity with social distancing and face covering requirements.
  • Retail stores are allowed to reach 50% capacity.
  • Casinos are allowed to reach 30% capacity.
  • Indoor stadiums and arenas are allowed have 375 spectators if seating capacity is under 10,000 or 750 spectators if seating capacity is over 10,000.
  • Outdoor entertainment and recreational facilities may host up to 1,000 patrons.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the loosened restrictions are possible because Michigan’s key COVID-19 statistics are trending in the right direction. The daily rate of new cases per million people remains below 100, the percentage of positive diagnostic tests remains below 4% and hospitalizations are dropping.

“We’re getting there, Michigan,” she said. “This is good news.”

Water parks and night clubs remain the only Michigan businesses required to remain closed entirely. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services also continues requiring any workers who can complete their responsibilities at home to continue working there.

“We continue to monitor the data closely, and based on current trends we are taking another step toward normalcy,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel. “We urge Michiganders to continue doing what works and wearing a mask, washing their hands and avoiding crowds.”

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