MI lifts restrictions: Capacity at 100% indoors, no more mask mandate

NOW: MI lifts restrictions: Capacity at 100% indoors, no more mask mandate

UNION PIER, Mich. -- It’s a momentous day in Michigan’s fight against the coronavirus, as the state lifts all remaining restrictions – and it happened a week and a half early.

While Michigan has been reopening gradually for months, Tuesday marked the end of capacity limits for any industry and the mask mandate – whether you’re vaccinated or not.

Establishments can still make their own rules, but as far as statewide orders, there’s no plan for any restrictions to return. 

“Effective today, our Pure Michigan summer is back and we can realize it,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Gov. Whitmer celebrated the end of Michigan’s epidemic orders 10 days before the original July 1 date.

“It’s been a grueling 15 months, we’ve all been pushed to our breaking points physically, emotionally and mentally,” said Whitmer.

Restaurant owners, one industry with the tightest restrictions, feeling ease as they’ve made it to the other side.

“For the last 15 months, the most occupancy we’ve had has been 50 percent, we were closed completely and carry-out only from November to early February and then allowed to reopen at 25 percent occupancy,” said Jennifer Trout, owner of Red Arrow Roadhouse.

Just because capacity is at 100 percent, doesn’t mean operations are – continued staffing and shipping shortages have led Red Arrow Roadhouse in Union Pier to get rid of carry out for the summer.

“It was a small, small portion of our business – less than five percent – that obviously shifted to 100 percent for many months, now we’re down to it being 25 percent but that’s still a volume we can’t sustain when jumping back up to 100 percent occupancy,” said Trout.

But – excited to focus on their diners and no longer enforce capacity limits or a mask requirement.

“We’ve had to turn tables as fast as we can to accommodate people and we’re able to stop policing customers which is a huge relief to staff.”

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