Back on March 24, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a “stay at home” order to limit the risk of the spread of COVID-19 to Michigan residents. On Monday, June 1, Whitmer announced that she was lifting the stay-at-home order, which was set to end on June 12, and is easing restrictions.
Under these new guidelines — the fourth step in Whitmer’s re-opening plan — stores will be able to serve customers without appointments and restaurants can start re-opening for dine-in services, with proper social distancing measures and at a limited capacity, along with hair salons and bottle returns. Whitmer reports that she is hoping to shift the state to the fifth phase of her opening plan by July 4.
So, what are Michigan residents now allowed to do that they couldn’t before? Here, we detail what the the state orders are and what is currently allowed.
What’s allowed, specifically?
On June 1, Bridge Magazine broke down the new recommendations in the fourth tier of Whitmer’s re-opening plan.
Starting immediately, Michiganders may engage in the following activities:
- Leaving home: You no longer have to remain in their homes whenever possible.
- Engage in outdoor gatherings of up to 100 as long as social distancing guidelines are followed. Indoor gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.
- Go to a drive-in movie.
- Take an outdoor fitness class.
- Return to the office if the work you do cannot be done at home
- Resume house cleaning and other in-home services.
Starting June 4, retails stores are allowed to re-open their doors and provide services without an appointment at limited capacity based on their size, as long as they comply with social distancing rules and other guidelines.
On June 8, bars, restaurants, food courts, cafes, breweries and other eateries may re-open at 50-percent capacity as long as they comply with social distancing guidelines and other safety precautions. Buffets and salad bars will remain closed.
In addition, outdoor swimming pools, day camps and libraries and museums are also allowed to re-open, as long as they follow safety protocols.
And on June 15, hair salons may reopen and bottle returns will return with a $25 limit per individual, per day.
While working and shopping, employers, employees and customers must still adhere to the requirements of social distancing, including:
- Restricting the number of workers and customers on the premises and allowing employees to work from home as much as possible.
- Keeping workers and customers at least six feet apart.
- Increasing cleaning standards.
- Adopting policies to prevent sick workers from coming in.
Businesses that are allowed to re-open must operate at a 50% capacity, enforce social distancing rules and create a COVID-19 response plan.
In addition, anyone who can medically tolerate must wear a face covering in public spaces — and employers must provide non-medical grade masks to their employees.
Indoor theaters, spas, tanning salons, tattoo parlors, casinos, amusement parks and arcades, and gyms remain closed.
The goal of the “stay at home” order was exactly what it sounds like — to keep people indoors and away from one another to prevent the virus’ spread.
The goal was — and still is — to “flatten the curve,” or reduce the projected number of people that will contract coronavirus, so as not to overwhelm state hospitals and medical providers with a huge influx of sick people.
Under such orders, you and your family are expected stay inside as much as possible. If families did need to go out, they should have followed the CDC’s guidelines to:
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water
- Avoid touching your face, including your eyes, nose and mouth
- Keeping at least six feet away from others not in your family
What’s considered ‘essential’
Under the original order, businesses and service providers that are “critical infrastructure workers” didn’t have to close. That hasn’t changed. WZZM 13 reports some of these businesses exempt from the original “stay at home” order included:
- Hospitals and health care
- Law enforcement, public safety, first responders
- Grocery stores and pharmacies
- Electric, water and wastewater
- Public transportation
- Cable, satellite and news media
- Government buildings
- Critical manufacturing
- National Guard, Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, Border Patrol, Marines
- Child care, but only to serve children or dependents of critical infrastructure workers
- Insurance, but only if work cannot be done by telephone or remotely
- Those who work for or volunteer for places providing food and shelter to low-income people and the disabled
According to an April 24 report by Click On Detroit, a first extension of the order reopened landscapers and lawn-service companies, plant nurseries and bike repair shops. Under that extension, families were still required to stay home as much as possible.
In addition, stores selling nonessential supplies were also allowed to reopen for curbside pickup, and delivery and big-box retailers no longer have to close of garden or homeware areas.
On Monday, May 18, Whitmer made another announcement that allows bars, restaurants and retail to partially reopen in 32 counties in northern Michigan, according to another Click On Detroit report. On May 21, she announced gatherings of 10 or more with proper social distancing are allowed as well as retail shopping, by appointment, according to mlive.com.
For more information on COVID-19 or for services and activity ideas, visit our coronavirus help page at MetroParent.com.
This post was originally published in March 2020 and is updated regularly.