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Bars, restaurants can resume indoor dining services Monday

The epidemic order issued by MDHHS two weeks ago has lifted and indoor dining can resume, with certain limitations.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — West Michigan bar and restaurant owners can resume indoor dining services Monday, Feb. 1. 

The epidemic order issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) two weeks ago relaxed some indoor activity restrictions. 

The order allows for indoor dining, but with certain safety measures in place:

  • Restaurants and bars can reopened at 25% capacity with up to 100 people.
  • Tables must be six feet apart with no more than six people per table. 
  • Outdoor tents with four sides are permitted under these same rules. 
  • Bars and restaurants must close by 10 p.m. 
  • Contact information must be collected from diners for contact tracing purposes.

The current order will last until Sunday, Feb. 21.  

Some restaurants, including First Wok in Walker and Long Road Distillers have chosen not to reopen. Long Road owner Kyle VanStrien said that in order to turn a profit, the distillery and restaurant would need to operate at close to 100% capacity. He said when the state increases capacity, he will re-evaluate opening.

When the order was initially announced, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS, said the Michiganders must remain vigilant, especially since there have been multiple confirmed cases of the variant of the virus in the state. 

"This is not the time to let our guard down and Michiganders should minimize their risk by avoiding gatherings, wearing masks properly, social distancing and making a plan to get their vaccine when it is their turn," Dr. Khaldun said.

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