Michigan Gov. Whitmer loosens COVID-19 restrictions on restaurants, other establishments

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced new guidelines for restaurants, nursing homes, gyms, and recreational facilities on Tuesday, rolling back a series of restrictions across the state.

The most noticeable is a doubling of restaurant capacity, allowing bars and eateries to operate at 50% capacity, up from 25%.

Other changes include changing the restaurant curfew from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m., allowing stores to increase capacity from 30% to 50%, letting casinos operate at 30%, and upping gym capacities to 30%. The new guidelines also allow entertainment venues, such as bowling alleys and movie theaters, to operate at 50% capacity, up to 300 people.

The order goes into effect March 5 and will last until April 19.

"Michigan is a national leader in the fight against COVID-19, and our fact-based, data-driven approach will help our state rebuild our economy and resume normal day-to-day activities," said Whitmer in a press release.

Gathering restriction changes include allowing private indoor gatherings at homes to have a maximum of 15 people from three different households. Private outdoor gatherings can have up to 50 people.

Indoor gatherings not at private residences can have up to 25 people, while outdoor gatherings can resume with a maximum of 300 attendees.

Also, athletic stadiums and arenas that hold 10,000 people or fewer will be allowed to have 375 attendees, while venues with a capacity larger than 10,000 can have 750 people.

Visitations will also be allowed at nursing homes once visitors have a negative COVID-19 test.

Casinos and Gyms will also be allowed to operate at 30% capacity, however, work machines for exercise must remain six feet apart.