indoor dining

Dining room table setting photo
Public Domain Pictures

Michigan restaurants on Wednesday proposed tying indoor capacity limits to the percentage of COVID-19 tests that come back positive, contending that clear guideposts would help the hospitality industry navigate the pandemic.

Bars and restaurants, which reopened for indoor dining and drinking on Feb 1. after a 2 1/2-month ban, have a 10 p.m. curfew and are limited to 25% occupancy, up to a maximum of 100 patrons, under a state health order supported by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. She has opposed linking coronavirus metrics to the automatic loosening or tightening of restrictions.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Nov. 5, 2020 photo
Associated Press

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will announce Wednesday that Michigan restaurants can reopen for indoor dining on Feb. 1, two-and-a-half months after an order to close amid a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

The governor’s office confirmed the pending announcement following a statement issued on social media by the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association. The current order prohibiting indoor dine-in service is due to expire Friday but will be extended.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services logo
michiganhhs / michiganhhs

A federal judge has refused to block the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ ban on indoor dining.

When the MDHHS issued restrictions on indoor dining two weeks ago designed to slow the surge of COVID-19 cases, the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association sued the state. It brought four federal claims and a pair of state claims.

“Alleging that the Constitutional rights of restaurant operators have been violated.”

Michael Huff is a corporate attorney with Mika Meyers.