Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is set to open restaurants, bars, and other retail businesses across the state by next week.

The Governor revealed the changes on Monday during her afternoon briefing, two weeks after lifting some restrictions in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.

Citing low and declining case counts for COVID-19 in Michigan, (only about 1000 in the past week), Whitmer will move the six remaining regions in the state into phase 4.

The move means restaurants may operate indoor dining at 50 percent of capacity with 6-foot separation and the use of personal protection equipment, starting June 8th.

In addition, the Governor stated that effective immediately, groups of 100 or less will be allowed to gather outdoors with social distancing and office work that cannot be done remotely can resume.  Day camps for children will likewise be permitted to open on June 8.  In-home services, including housecleaning services, can resume operations.  Whitmer’s new executive order will allow retailers to reopen on Thursday, June 4th.  The governor said Drive-In Movie theaters can re-open.

“The data has shown that we are ready to carefully move our state into the next phase,” Whitmer said in a statement. “While Michiganders are no longer required to stay home, we must all continue to be smart and practice social distancing.”

Whitmer added that her goal was to announce a shift to the next phase, which would allow most businesses as well as schools to reopen, before July 4. She said state residents must continue to wear face masks when in enclosed public spaces.

Subject to local regulations, gyms and fitness centers may conduct outdoor classes or games provided participants maintain six feet of distance from others. Outdoor pools can reopen with restricted capacity, although many have already closed for the season.

Movie theaters, hair salons, barber shops and casinos are also to remain closed, however many casinos have reopened without the governor's approval.

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