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Restaurant owners weigh in on Michigan’s new COVID-19 emergency order

Restaurants must now limit customers to 6 per table, collect names and phone numbers

DETROIT – On Thursday, Michigan health officials issued a new COVID-19 emergency order that included stricter regulations on restaurants and gatherings.

Under the new order, no more than 50 people can gather indoors unless there is fixed seating. Facilities with fixed seating -- such as sports arenas -- are not affected by the new order.

Also, restaurants, bars and other indoor non-residential locations cannot allow more than six people at a table. Anyone who enters restaurants and bars must give their name and phone number so officials can reach them if necessary for contact tracing.

Read: Michigan issues new COVID-19 emergency order with stricter rules for restaurants, gatherings

Read: How ‘incredibly concerning’ COVID-19 cases are trending in each of Michigan’s 8 regions

For Matt Buskard, owner of Bobcat Bonnie’s in Corktown and Ferndale, he’s put up ventilated tents for increased safety and capacity. However, Thursday’s order brings more restrictions -- taking information from customers who may not want to give it.

“It feels like we keep jumping through hoops and challenges and we’re not getting anybody who’s giving us any form of a break and it’s frustrating. We want to be on everybody’s side we want to keep everybody safe, we want to follow the rules. But at what point does somebody say, ‘Hey, how do we help these guys?'” Buskard said.

Ben Potter, director of operations at Detroit Axe, said, “It is a challenge, but it’s a challenge I think we’re adept at adapting to."

Detroit Axe on 9 Mile Road reopened on Oct. 9, the same day as movie theaters and bowling alleys.

Overall, any restrictions have some owners worried that more could be coming.

Read: Here’s how the new COVID-19 emergency order affects Michigan gatherings

Read: Here’s how the new COVID-19 emergency order affects Michigan restaurants and bars


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