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.We're taking a big step today. Michigan's lengthy battle with COVID-19 is far from over, but as of today -- Monday, June 8, 2020 -- the Mitten State is entering a new era.

Restaurants and bars in our region of Michigan are now permitted to open their doors to customers who choose to dine in. Genesee County is part of Region 1 in Michigan, the section of Michigan that includes Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties.

Food and drink establishments in regions 6 and 8 were permitted to open their doors to dine-in customers on May 22.

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There are, of course, some restrictions.

  • Groups will have to be seated at least six feet apart.
  • Servers are required to wear masks.
  • Seating capacity in all establishments will be limited to 50%.

Restrictions for other businesses in our region have been lifted as well.

  • As of Thursday (6/4), retail businesses are allowed to be open and customers can shop without making an appointment. Social distancing guidelines must be followed.
  • Outdoor crowds of up to 100 people are now permitted. This includes fitness classes, practices, and games. Spectators and participants not from the same household must maintain a distance of six feet.
  • Graduation open houses are permitted, again with a limit of 100 people. People from different households must stay six feet apart.
  • Office work that cannot be completed remotely is now permitted.
  • In-home services (such as cleaning) can now resume.
  • Drive-in movie theaters are now permitted to open.

Barbershops and hair salons, however, will remain closed until Monday, June 15. Last week, Governor Whitmer apologized to stylists after she suggested that Michigan residents "Google how to do a haircut."