Upper Peninsula and Northern Lower Peninsula See Loosened Restrictions

May 19, 2020

Retail businesses, office work that cannot be done remotely, and restaurants and bars with limited seating will be allowed to reopen Friday in regions 6 and 8 (the Upper Peninsula and Northern Lower Peninsula) as outlined in the Governor’s MI Safe Start Plan.

Cities, villages, and townships may choose to take a more restrictive course if they wish. The order does not abridge their authority to restrict the operations of restaurants or bars, including limiting such establishments to outdoor seating for example.

All businesses that will reopen in regions 6 and 8 must adopt the safety measures outlined in Executive Order 2020-91. That means they must, among other things, provide COVID-19 training to workers that covers, at a minimum, workplace infection-control practices, the proper use of PPE, steps workers must take to notify the business or operation of any symptoms of COVID-19 or a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, and how to report unsafe working conditions. Restaurants and bars will also have to limit capacity to 50% of their normal seating, to keep groups at least six feet from one another, to require their servers to wear face coverings, and to follow rigorous disinfection protocols.  

The order does not permit the reopening of other places of public accommodation that have been closed pursuant to Executive Order 2020-69 (e.g., salons, theaters, libraries, etc.).

The Michigan Chamber and legislative leaders have long called for a regional approach to reopening the State’s economy and yesterday the Governor finally acknowledged she will begin to relax the statewide lock down order in certain areas of the state where COVID-19 cases are minimal and remained stagnant. 

While embracing a regional approach to reopening is a positive development, albeit long overdue, we are discouraged by the language that empowers (and in doing so also encourages) local governments to issue lockdown orders of their own. 

For more information on the Governor’s reopening, please contact Dan Papineau at dpapineau@michamber.com