Michiganders can once again dine indoors at restaurants starting Feb. 1, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced at a news conference Friday.
“The pause has worked," Whitmer said. "The efforts we have made together to protect our families, frontline workers and hospitals have dramatically reduced cases and we have saved lives. Now, we are confident that starting Feb. 1, restaurants can resume indoor dining with safety measures in place.”
Before the Department of Health and Human Services’ three-week epidemic order limiting social gatherings launched on Nov. 15, Michigan had 734 cases of Coivd-19 per million residents, Whitmer said. The state has now seen a 70% reduction to 177 cases per million, according to the Governor.
“I know this pandemic has hurt our restaurant owners, our restaurant workers, and all of their families. I want to thank those that made incredible sacrifices, and did their part, on behalf of our protecting our communities from Covid,” said Whitmer.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun further clarified that restaurants will operate at 25% capacity and must observe a 10 p.m. curfew.
“I'm pleased that we can move forward in this way. We know that our restaurant owners want to protect their patrons and help to end this pandemic,” Khaldun said, but said she wanted to remind people that scientists and doctors have reiterated that being indoors, with no mask on, is one of the riskier activities people can do when it comes to the spread of Covid-19.
“So now people have a choice. The safest thing to do, especially if you are elderly, if you have underlying medical conditions, or if you live with someone who's elderly or has underlying medical conditions,” Khaldun said. “The safest thing to do is to not be inside a restaurant, but we still want you to order from them though, you can support them with takeout delivery, or dining out doors.”