LANSING — Michigan restaurants and bars are hoping to reopen for dine-in service on May 29, according to a proposed “roadmap” to reopening released this past Friday.
The news comes as cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus continue to decline, but dozens of deaths are still being reported. On Monday, Michigan’s overall case numbers were below 500 for the third consecutive day. There were 33 deaths attributed to the virus, however.
As of Saturday, seven percent of 308,000-plus total coronavirus tests across the state had come back positive since the crisis began in Michigan.
And on Sunday, state data showed six consecutive days of a decline in the overall number of cases.
According to Justin Winslow, president and CEO of the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association, 20 restaurants a day are permanently going out of business under coronavirus restrictions. The number was drawn from survey data from mid-April showing that 4 percent of owners say they won’t reopen at all.
“That’s alarming,” Winslow said. “That shows how necessary the opportunity to open is to the industry.”
Their roadmap to reopening includes guidance such as requiring masks for workers and keeping tables and bar stools six feet apart. The plan also calls for restaurant owners to buy Plexiglass counter shields that sell for $157 each, taking staff temperatures before shifts and the regulation of hand washing.
Customers will be asked to order takeout instead if they have a cough or diarrhea. Dining rooms would also be reconfigured to keep more distance between patrons and cleaning products capable of removing the coronavirus from surfaces would be utilized. Personal protective equipment, including masks for everyone on staff, would also be ordered, according to BridgeMi.com.
The proposed actions came as part of an eight-category checklist and 26 pages of suggestions, which can be read here.
The group is also asking for a date for reopening, but the state has not addressed restaurants as part of its plans for re-engaging the Michigan economy.
Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order was extended until May 28 on Thursday of last week.