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Michigan Lifts Most COVID Mandates. Here’s What It Means for Restaurants and Bars

Pandemic restrictions ended early than planned, but businesses may still require face coverings if they want

Paper sign in a window reading “Masks are required. Thank you.” with an image of a disposable paper mask.
Restaurants and bars may still request guests wear masks for service.
Akerri/Shutterstock

As of 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, June 22, Michigan has lifted indoor capacity restrictions at restaurants and bars and gotten rid of all mask requirements.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said on Thursday, June 17 that the early-than-expected end to mandates was due to Restaurants, bars, and other private businesses may still require masks, social distancing, any safety precautions if they choose.

Restaurants and bars can now operate at full house, both indoors and outdoors.

The move comes 15 months after the governor’s first order mandating masks. COVID-19 infections have dropped to the lowest rate in a year and vaccinations in the state have risen in recent weeks.

According to the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association, 3,000 restaurants in the state have permanently closed and 200,000 workers have been laid off as a result of the pandemic.

“The challenges ahead remain daunting for many, but this industry is resilient, adaptive and ready to meet this newfound opportunity head on,” Justin Winslow, president and chief executive of the MRLA, said in a statement. “MRLA will focus its efforts going forward on sensible workforce solutions that benefit employers and employees alike. We also will advocate for the strategic investment of federal dollars to help restore the hospitality industry to its rightful place as one of opportunity.”

Nearly five million Michiganders 16 and older have received at least one vaccine dose, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. According to data from the state, half of Michigan residents have been vaccinated. In Detroit, 36.9 percent of residents have received at least one shot, as of Thursday, June 17.

Michigan has reported just 327 new coronavirus cases since Friday, June 18, or an average of 109 a day.

Here’s what restaurant workers and customers need to know about COVID-19 mandates:

Do I still need to wear a face mask?

As of June 22, 2021, Michiganders will no longer need to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status. Those who are not vaccinated are asked — but not required — to wear masks indoors in public. The state is still recommending masks in some settings, including in homeless shelters, prisons, and long-term facilities.

Restaurants, bars, and any other private businesses may require face coverings for any customers if they choose.

Is indoor seating allowed at restaurants and bars?

Yes. As of June 22, all capacity limits ended and restaurants can have a full house.

Can I dine outside?

If you want. As of June 22, 2021, there will be no restrictions or mask mandates on outdoor dining.

Is there a curfew?

No. Last call is 2 a.m.

Can venues hosting athletic events operate concessions?

Yes.

Are food courts open?

Yes.

Are restaurants in the airport open?

Some restaurants in Michigan airports are open (many are not).

What about outdoor festivals, fairs, and parades?

There are no longer restrictions on gatherings.

What happens if a food service employee gets a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result or shows symptoms while at work?

The establishment must close temporarily and undergo a deep cleaning “consistent with Food and Drug Administration and CDC guidance.”

What if a worker tests positive, may have been exposed to COVID-19, or is symptomatic?

Employees who were exposed, may have been exposed, are waiting for a test result, or have received a positive test result are required to isolate or quarantine following CDC guidance.

Do employers have to notify anyone about positive cases?

Yes. Under MIOSHA rules, employers are also required to “immediately” notify the local health department if they learn of an employee, customer, or visitor with a case of COVID-19. Employers are also required to notify any co-workers, contractors, or suppliers who may have come in contact within 24 hours.

MDHHS Orders [Official]
MIOSHA Emergency Rules [Official]
A Running List of Restaurants and Bars That Opened During the Pandemic [ED]
These Southeast Michigan Restaurants Closed Permanently During the Coronavirus Crisis [ED]
All Coronavirus Coverage [E]

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