(FOX 2) - This week, Michigan is taking a huge step forward in the recovery after the state was shut down due to the spread of COVID-19.
Last week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced several restrictions would be lifted this week in the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Michigan as those two regions move into phase 5 of the MI Safe Start plan - 'containing'. The move will affect regions 6 and 8 as defined by the Michigan Economic Recovery Council (MERC), which includes the entire upper peninsula and the greater Traverse City region.
Since the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Michigan in mid-March, schools have closed, the economy has come to a halt and the state's stay-home order was extended multiple times. Thousands have protested - and thousands have also died from the virus in the past three months.
This week marks reopenings throughout the state.
BARS AND RESTAURANTS
Gov. Whitmer announced last week that bars and restaurants would reopen with a number of precautions.
Beginning on Monday, one of Michigan's hardest-hit industries will be allowed to reopen their doors to indoor service as restaurants and bars were given the OK to start patronizing customers with indoor seating offered. Closed since mid-March, the service industry has been had to deploy a patchwork of solutions to continue staying open.
Carry-out options and contactless delivery methods have helped buoy many of the eateries around the state as managers and cooks waited for the day they could start serving food and drinks indoors.
While many businesses won't be reopening due to a lack of personal protective equipment or an uninterest in further risking staff and customers to exposure, those that are will have lots of new best practices in place. Patrons will have to ask for salt and pepper instead of having options at the table. Menus will be paper. Doors will be opened by one's foot.
State mandates like capacity limits still hover over some of the rules that food businesses will have to follow, which will likely continue for many months as the state enters another foreign phase of its dealings with the pandemic.
DAY CAMPS & SWIMMING POOLS
Also in last week's order, Gov. Whitmer lifted the mandatory closing of swimming pools and day camps effective on June 8.
Whitmer announced that pools can reopen immediately, just days after Detroit and Macomb, Wayne, Oakland Counties all said they would be closing public pools indefinitely.
After she announced the lifting of the Stay Home order all four health departments rescinded their orders to close.
Pools can now reopen with capacity restrictions, while indoor public swimming pools must remain closed.
The rule does not apply to the two waterparks in Oakland County, which will remain closed for the rest of 2020. That order affects Red Oaks Waterpark in Madison Heights and Waterford Oak Waterpark in Waterford.
The Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak is reopening with a soft launch for members only starting Monday through Thursday.
Like most businesses, the soft opening will come with some new rules which require attendees to wear a mask, observe social distancing, and use hand sanitizer. Additionally, the zoo will have a capacity limit of 1,000 guests per day.
For members interested in coming to the zoo next week, they'll need to schedule their time slot on the zoo's website before visiting. No more than 500 guests will be permitted on the zoo grounds at any one time.
After the initial phase of reopening, non-members can pay general admission for a scheduled entry. At that point, the zoo will increase its capacity to 2,000 guests a day.
After scheduling a visit, guests will receive an email with their digital ticket and digital map (the zoo won't be handing out paper maps). There will also be safety details that come as well.
Indoor viewing areas, including the Barn, Wildlife Interpretive Gallery, Butterfly Garden, Red Panda Forest canopy walkway, prairie dog bubbles, and giraffe viewing deck will all remain closed at the beginning.
BARBERS AND HAIR SALONS
Starting on Wednesday, the only place to legally get a professional haircut is in the Upper Peninsula or Grand Traverse City area as those two regions are in the next phase of reopening.
If you can wait just one more week, Gov. Whitmer announced that on June 15, personal services including hair, massages, and nails will reopen statewide.
It's a step that salon owners across the state have been calling for, while also preparing and communicating how they plan to safely reopen for their customers.
Hundreds of others have protested the fact that salons haven't been allowed to reopen. On May 20 they gathered on the lawn outside the Capitol in Lansing, some even getting their own haircut. Michigan State Police handed out a few $500 disorderly conduct tickets.
Detroit's Ford Wyoming drive-in movie theatre opened last week but has posted updated rules and regulations for its customers.
Even with vehicles serving as patron's seating arrangements, social distancing rules remain in effect, and theater capacity has been limited to half. Drive-in speakers won't be available for use and face masks will be required for those using the restroom or purchasing food from the concession stand.
The classic drive-in movie theater had originally planned on reopening May 28, but received a cease-and-desist order from Michigan State Police to stop showing movies.
The Salvation Army Southeast Michigan Adult Rehabilitation Center will reopen its Family Thrift Stores on Monday, June 8.
Stores can resume business but with limited capacity. The stores will open earlier on Wednesdays between 9 and 11 a.m. for seniors, vulnerable adults, pregnant individuals, and immunocompromised shoppers.
It will also reopen the Adult Rehabilitation Center, which provides men and women with essential drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
Salvation Army has been open for donations since last week.