SUBSCRIBE NOW
$5 for 3 months. Save 83%.
SUBSCRIBE NOW
$5 for 3 months. Save 83%.

Here are the rules that will govern reopening in Northern Michigan, Upper Peninsula

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News
Visitors to downtown Traverse City walk down Front Street.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gave the green light for restaurants and retail stores to reopen Friday in Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. 

The allowance applies to the entire U.P. as well as 17 counties in Northern Michigan: Alpena, Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Crawford, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, Montmorency, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon, and Wexford.

The rest of the state remains under the same restrictions, but the governor said Monday some of those could be eased in the coming days. 

Here is what the executive order means generally for Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula:

  • Restaurants and bars can open at 50% capacity with safety protocols in place
  • Retail locations under 50,000 square feet can open at 25% capacity with safety protocol in place
  • Where work cannot be done remotely, offices can reopen with safety protocol in place
  • Social gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed
  • Local governments can still make rules stricter than state’s

For restaurants in Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula: 

  • Restaurants and bars can reopen at 50% capacity with six feet between each dining group
  • Customers must wait in their vehicles instead of in waiting areas until a table is ready
  • Diners must wear masks until they get to their tables
  • Self-serve eating options such as buffets or drink stations will be closed
  • Restaurants must create signage or pamphlets to inform customers of changes and ways to prevent infection
  • Physical barriers such as plexiglass must be installed in front of cashiers, hostess stations or bars where six-foot distancing can't be maintained
  • Restaurants must train employees on safety protocols, maintain six-foot distancing when possible, provide masks, increase cleaning, and notify employees of staff coronavirus cases
  • A restaurant must close and deep clean if an employee shows multiple COVID-19 symptoms

For retail establishments in Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula: 

  • Retail stores under 55,000 square feet can reopen at 25% capacity but must maintain social distancing, at times through markings indicating six-foot distances for waiting customers
  • Retail customers must wear masks
  • Retail locations must create physical barriers between the cashier and customer
  • Stores must have at least two hours per week designated for vulnerable individuals
  • Retail locations must create signage or pamphlets to inform customers of changes and ways to prevent infection
  • Retail facilities must train employees on safety protocol, maintain six-foot distancing, provide masks, increase cleaning, notify employees of staff coronavirus cases

Whitmer's easing of restrictions stops short of opening up overnight lodging, campgrounds and rental properties in the northern regions. Her order also does not permit the reopening of barbers, salons, spas, movie theaters, casinos or gyms.