By Jack F. Petroskey

On Tuesday, March 2, 2021, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (“MDHHS”), announced that COVID-19 restrictions related to in-person activities will be partially eased for restaurants, nursing homes, gyms, recreational facilities and private events. These changes will take effect on March 5, 2021 and will remain in effect until April 19, 2021.

According to the March 2nd MDHHS Emergency Order (the “Order”), bars and eateries will now be allowed to operate at 50% capacity, up from 25%, and curfew restrictions for restaurants have been pushed back from 10pm to 11pm. Retail stores now have an increased capacity limit of 50%, up from 30%. Casinos can now operate at 30%, and gym capacities have been increased to 30%.

The new Order also allows entertainment venues, such as bowling alleys and movie theaters, to operate at 50% capacity, with a maximum capacity of up to 300 people.

Nursing homes will be allowed to welcome more visitors. The Order states that visitations will now be allowed at nursing homes once visitors have a negative COVID-19 test.

The Order also relaxes restrictions on private gatherings. Private indoor gatherings at homes may now have a maximum of 15 people from three different households. Private outdoor gatherings can have up to 50 people.

Sporting events are now allowed fan attendance. The Order states that athletic stadiums and arenas that hold 10,000 people or fewer will be allowed to have up to 375 attendees, while venues with a capacity larger than 10,000 can have up to 750 people.

Of course, there are many restrictions that this new Order does not change and that remain in effect. Michigan is still requiring people who can work remotely to continue to do so. Businesses like gyms and beauty parlors must still maintain records of their patrons for contact tracing. Restaurants must maintain records of who was at their establishments at a given time for the purpose of contact tracing.

If you need any help navigating these rule changes, or have any questions, please feel free to call Kemp Klein.


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