A new order signed Friday by Governor Gretchen Whitmer will soon allow Michiganders to get their hair cut or styled – as well as head to the gym or a movie theater – with certain precautions.
The restrictions will be lifted first in the northern Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula starting Wednesday -- followed by southern Michigan starting June 15th.
In northern counties, indoor gatherings of 50 people will be permissible.
Outdoor gatherings of 250 will be allowed, while outdoor performance and sporting venues will be able to have 500 people - allowing for some graduation ceremonies.
Whitmer says many restrictions designed to slow the spread of COVID-19 will be lifted soon because the number of new cases in Michigan continues to decline.
“But COVID-19 is still very present here in Michigan, and that’s why it’s on all of us to keep doing our part,” Whitmer says. “It’s not just on us as individuals. It’s about our economy. It’s about our state. It’s about our loved ones.”
She says social distancing will still be required, along with wearing masks, and self-isolating in cases of possible COVID-19 exposure.
“Filling a stadium again is probably not going to happen again until we have a vaccine and that’s going to be awhile,” Whitmer says. “So we’re learning to live with COVID-19. Every step of the way depends on people continuing to do their part.”
The Northern Michigan business community welcomed the news.
Megan DeWindt, the site director for Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey, said in the Governor’s press release the region is ready to safely welcome guests back to galleries, performing arts spaces and museums.
“Arts and culture are vital aspects of Northern Michigan’s economy and directly contribute to the quality of life for our residents. These aspects of our community also enhance the experiences of our visitors, particularly during the summer months,” DeWindt said in the release. “Northern Michigan is known for supporting and celebrating local, regional, and national artists and performers, and we are excited to resume that tradition.”
The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance, which represents rural business communities in northern lower Michigan as well as Marquette and the Sault area, said in a news release the governor’s expanded reopening was a result of northern Michigan businesses and customers following safety precautions.
The Chamber Alliance said it’s been working with the governor and helping local businesses reopen.
“We know there is still much work to do and we will continue to serve as the business voice and advocate on behalf of northern Michigan,” Amy Clickner, vice-chairperson of the Alliance, said in the release.