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COVID-19 restrictions stay the same for Michigan restaurants as other venues prepare to reopen

Indoor dining still banned under updated COVID-19 order

A closed sign at the front of a restaurant. (Photo by Richard Bord/Getty Images) (2020 Richard Bord)

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan has loosened COVID-19 restrictions for several indoor venues, including casinos, bowling alleys and movie theaters, but indoor dining at restaurants is still not allowed.

In fact, the updated order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services didn’t change the restrictions on restaurants at all.

MORE: Here’s everything that’s reopening under Michigan’s revised COVID-19 order

“The epidemic order continues to temporarily pause indoor dining in bars and restaurants, but they can continue to offer outdoor dining, carry-out and delivery,” the state release says.

MDHHS Director Robert Gordon said arenas, amusement parks, bowling alleys, casinos, cinemas, concert halls, gun ranges and performance centers can all reopen Monday (Dec. 21), with capacity capped at 100 and masks and social distancing required.

FROM TUESDAY: When could Michigan restaurants reopen? Why are they still shut down while other places aren’t?

No food or drink concessions will be allowed at those venues, though, and that’s because of a fundamental rule officials are trying to follow with this new order.

Gordon said anytime someone is indoors, there is greatly increased risk of spreading COVID-19. As a result, mask wearing in those situations is critically important.

“There will not be changes for highest risk settings of indoor bars and dining where masks are necessarily removed,” Gordon said.

Since dining at restaurants requires people from different households to remove their masks in the same area, it’s inherently risky, Gordon and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reiterated during Friday’s briefing.

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