(FOX 2) - Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel is urging bar and restaurant owners to adhere to the current recommendation of operating at 50% capacity for the upcoming St. Patrick's Day holiday amid the coronavirus COVID-19 state of emergency.
"It's much better for them to obey the order as it is now - operating at 50 percent capacity - than it is for them to be closed down for an indefinite period of time if people aren't following the order," Nessel said at a news conference Sunday afternoon.
Nessel said owners who do not adhere to this will be at risk of losing their liquor license down the road, or possibly even facing closure. "You may not be getting arrested on St. Patrick's Day but that doesn't mean there won't be significant consequences for you later," she said.
She said police will be keeping an eye out for bars or restaurants operating at normal capacity and will be passing along offender's information to the AG's office.
Law enforcement won't be going after or ticketing customers.
"[Patrons] have a social responsibility to keep a distance from each other, but it's up to the owners of these establishments to know when there's too many people in their bar or restaurant," Nessel said.
She continued, "Your actions today affect the futures of your friends and your family members tomorrow, and by not violating these orders and by observing these strict social distancing and handwashing measures, the life that you save could be your own or could be the life of someone you love."
As of Sunday afternoon during this press conference, there are 33 positive coronavirus COVID-19 cases in Michigan. You can continue reading more about that here.
UPDATE: Gov. Whitmer has said she'll be closing down all bars and restaurants in Michigan effective Monday, March 16 at 3 p.m. for 'eat-in' service only. Carry-out and delivery will still be permitted.