Michigan hotels, restaurants urge COVID-19 vaccine so they can return to full capacity

Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association
Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association(WILX)
Published: Apr. 29, 2021 at 11:39 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - A group representing Michigan’s hotels and restaurants joined the call for people to get a COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday so they can return to full capacity.

The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association applauded Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s MI Vacc to Normal plan, which was released Thursday. It includes a series of vaccine benchmarks for Michigan to meet before COVID-19 restrictions will be phased out.

Once 70% of adults age 16 or older across the state get at least one dose of vaccine, all broad COVID-19 restrictions will end and businesses can return to normal operations.

“We applaud the governor for implementing what the MRLA has been requesting for months — a metric driven plan that offers incentives rather than mandates to drive better outcomes and more opportunity for the imperiled hospitality industry,” said Justin Winslow, president and CEO of the restaurant and lodging association.

Currently, Michigan restaurants are limited to 50% capacity for indoor dining rooms and they must close by 11 p.m. every night. The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association pledged to partner with Whitmer’s administration to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations.

“We will continue our partnership with this administration to provide new avenues for restaurants and hotels to inspire and incentivize greater vaccination rates of all Michiganders so that we may quickly move past the era of capacity limits, gathering restrictions and mitigation,” Winslow said.

He pointed out that 17,000 restaurants and hotels across Michigan, which account for about 400,000 jobs, are counting on the summer tourism season. As vaccination rates increase and COVID-19 restrictions decrease, the businesses’ fortunes would improve.

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