Michigan COVID restrictions ease as June 1 arrives
Bars and restaurants no longer have to close at 11 p.m. and can seat up to 50 percent of their capacity as Michigan’s COVID-19 restrictions ease Tuesday.
The scheduled June 1 changes also remove capacity restrictions at outdoor events like concerts, sporting events and weddings.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has said all COVID-19 restrictions will cease on July 1, barring some unforeseen turn.
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The changes come as Michigan reaches another milestone: Just over 60 percent of all state residents 16 and older have now received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, new data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show.
Nearly 4.9 million Michigan residents have started the vaccines, or 60.1 percent of the 8 million people who are 16 and older.
Before Whitmer abandoned her Vacc to Normal plan and accelerated the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions, 60 percent was the threshold at which bars and restaurants could expand capacity and would no longer have an 11 p.m. curfew — changes that would have gone into effect two weeks after hitting 60 percent.
But on May 20, Whitmer scrapped those plans in part because of major changes in recommendations from the CDC, which said that vaccinated residents were safe to gather indoors and out without masks in most settings.
Whitmer had initially planned on lifting restrictions after 70 percent of those 16 and older had at least one dose. But a slowing of the vaccination rate — which has prompted other states to offer vaccine lotteries and other incentives — made that goal elusive, with University of Michigan researchers estimating the state may never get to 70 percent.
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