Salons to reopen statewide June 15, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Personal care services such as hair, tanning and nail salons and massage and tattoo parlors can reopen on June 15 statewide, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Friday. 

Related: Judge: Michigan gyms can reopen June 25 despite Whitmer coronavirus order

To those struggling with shaggy locks amid the quarantine: Help is on the horizon. And in northern Michigan, you can soon hit the gym or catch a summer blockbuster.

Personal care services such as hair, tanning and nail salons and massage and tattoo parlors can reopen on June 15 statewide, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Friday. 

More than 30 counties in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula will enter Phase 5 of the state’s economic reopening plan on June 10, allowing movie theaters, fitness centers and salons to reopen. Capacity limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings will also be expanded.

If the current trajectory of coronavirus cases continues, Whitmer said, the whole state will also be able to follow northern Michigan’s lead and enter Phase 5 “in a few weeks.”

“That is my fervent hope, that’s always been our goal, to safely reengage. So please do not drop your guard now,” Whitmer said at a press conference announcing the changes Friday. “Get ready, but stay vigilant.”

Whitmer has said restrictions could be re-implemented if pandemic conditions worsen. 

The Phase 5 of reopening begins Wednesday in Manistee, Wexford, Missaukee, Roscommon, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Crawford, Leelanau, Antrim, Otsego, Montmorency, Alpena, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Presque Isle, Emmet, Gogebic, Ontonagon, Houghton, Keweenaw, Iron, Baraga, Dickinson, Marquette, Menominee, Delta, Alger, Schoolcraft, Luce, Mackinac, and Chippewa will enter Phase 5 of reopening. 

That means: 

  • Personal care services and gyms can reopen.

  • Entertainment venues such as bowling alleys, movie theaters, concert halls, night clubs and sports arenas will be allowed to reopen. If it’s indoors, it’s limited to 250 people. Outdoor venues are limited to 25 percent capacity or 500 people, whatever is smaller.

  • Indoor gatherings of up to 50 people will be permitted, as long as people can follow six-feet social distancing guidelines.

  • Outdoor gatherings of up to 250 people will be permitted, with social distancing rules.

  • Outdoor parks and recreational facilities can be open. Public pools can be open but are limited to 50 percent capacity outdoors and 25 percent capacity indoors.

People will still be required to wear a mask or another face-covering indoors if they’re not in their home, unless they can’t medically tolerate it.  

Some of those rollbacks will also apply to the rest of Michigan beginning June 15. Beginning then, spas; hair and nail salons; tattoo, piercing and massage parlors; and other personal care services will be allowed to reopen statewide. 

Those activities will look different than they did pre-COVID: All businesses, including personal care services, entertainment venues and gyms, will have to abide by strict safety precautions to attempt to control the spread of the virus. 

For example, hair salons will be required to separate workstations by 6 feet, throw away magazines and other shared items that can’t be disinfected, and limit the number of people in the waiting area to allow for social distancing. Most businesses, including salons, gyms, cleaners and repair services, will be required to keep logs of clients to help with contact tracing.

“Here's the bottom line Michigan: The sacrifice that we've made is paying off,” Whitmer said. The state has lived under broad restrictions since March 24, when the first stay-at-home order went into effect. It was lifted on Monday to allow outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people and soon reopen bars, restaurants and retail stores.

Michigan has been hit harder than many other states by the coronavirus. The state currently has the ninth-highest number of cases in the nation and the sixth-highest number of deaths. 

But Michigan’s rate of new coronavirus cases is slowing and its rate of testing and hospital capacity is increasing. New daily cases have largely been dropping since its peak in mid-April and the percent of positive tests have been below the 10 percent threshold recommended by the World Health Organization for weeks. 

Still, both Whitmer and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun urged caution — wearing masks, washing hands, social distancing and staying home when sick. 

“COVID-19 will be with us for some time, and we have to get used to living with this virus amongst us in the safest way possible. This is a marathon, it is not a sprint,” Khaldun said.

The changes also come after Whitmer received criticism from some salon owners after suggesting Monday that people could Google how to cut their own hair as they await further reopening. A spokesperson of Safe Salons for Michigan, a group advocating for industry reopening, called the comment “insulting and degrading,” and at least one Republican lawmaker attributed Friday’s changes to the blowback. 

Whitmer apologized again for the comments Friday. 

Republicans have largely welcomed Whitmer’s continued reopening of the economy even as they argue it’s long overdue.

Though northern Michigan will be entering Phase 5, the state’s economic reopening has not necessarily followed the economic reopening plan Whitmer’s administration laid out in early May. 

For example, in-person dining at bars and restaurants weren’t supposed to be allowed until Phase 5, but have been permitted under Phase 4 in northern Michigan and will soon be allowed in the rest of the state — currently under Phase 4 — on June 8. 

The governor has also faced criticism for not setting clear metrics for reopening certain regions, which some have argued leaves Michiganders in limbo about what is to come. 

Whitmer said Friday that the statewide reopening of personal care services will align with two weeks from her Monday announcement ending the stay-at-home order. 

“That’s really the period of time that makes the most sense” to monitor how the change will affect coronavirus cases,” Whitmer said. Epidemiologists have said it takes at least two weeks — if not more — to see how a single policy can affect the virus’ spread. 

“Going the next step into fully resuming into Phase 5 will take days, maybe weeks, maybe a little bit longer after that,” Whitmer said. “But this will look a lot more like normal when we get past the 15th.”

But for truly returning to normal — where businesses and social spaces can function without extra safety precautions and social distancing — “it’s going to be a while,” Whitmer said. 

Coronavirus is “still very present,” Whitmer said. “I know everyone's anxious to re-engage the economy. Doing so at this diminished capacity is a way to safely start that process.”

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Fri, 06/05/2020 - 1:58pm

More propaganda from the governor. She wants everyone to maintain "social distancing" but she didn't exercise the same precautions when she was marching with the protesters in Detroit.

Only one word for this type of "leader" and that is HYPOCRITE.

Bobby Joe
Fri, 06/05/2020 - 2:31pm

Remember when everyone used to care about privacy rights and many Democrats (and libertarians and Tea Partiers) threw a fit because George W Bush wanted to know if terrorists were getting training to commit 9/11's (The Patriot Act)? Well, under Governor Whitmer's regime now most businesses will be required to keep logs of clients to help with contact tracing. These logs (which will track where you go, who you associate with, what businesses you frequent, etc) will be provided to the government, who will now be tracking your every movement.

The Tea Party crowd is still fighting for privacy rights, but sadly, although the liberals and libertarians and Democrats used to care about privacy rights, but now they apparently don't. Political power and the desire for it as turned the Democratic party of my youth into one taken over by progressives, communists, and fascists, they no longer care about privacy rights. Hopefully Democrats will fight these extremist forces and once more care about workers, privacy rights, national defense, fighting crime, and supporting employment for minorities- because they don't seem to any more.

Fri, 06/05/2020 - 6:18pm

I fully agree with the thoughts you expressed. The Democrat party is being overtaken by authoritarians wearing masks of kindness. They ran in 2018 on kitchen table issues then turned around and ignored those promises and impeached the President which failed. Then tried to pivot to Ukrainegate, then pivoted to Coronavirus, now they pivot to another issue.

I will never vote for another Democrat while these people are running the party.

Drink another
Sun, 06/07/2020 - 11:25am

Im betting you never voted for a Democratic party candidate in your life anyway.

middle of the mit
Sat, 06/06/2020 - 12:50am

Who are trying to fool?

Everything you are complaining about? Went away with the Patriot 2001.

And I will bet you went with it.

Me? I am still a pariah.

Sat, 06/06/2020 - 11:03am

"The Tea Party crowd is still fighting for privacy rights...." That would be the "right" to remain ignorant that you have have been exposed to a lethal disease so you can go on to spread it further to others. Really?

Jody F
Sun, 06/07/2020 - 12:32pm

Your phone's already track you anyways. This log is done out of precaution for covid19. If one person tests positive, it's taxed to all the places that person has been so all the other people that were at those places could be informed and get tested. Why is this so hard to understand for people like you? You want to stay angry? Mad? Disgruntled? What a sad life!

Mon, 06/15/2020 - 2:02pm

You really believe that is the reason for the loss of freedom and privacy? Too many people like you drank the Kool-Aid and apparently blindly believe what the government tells you. People, we are better then this!

Sat, 06/06/2020 - 10:57am

So here is my question : When the spike due to Memorial Day/Ramadan weekend and due to no social distancing during the protests becomes clear, will it even be possible to shut us down again? (Not that anyone in my neighborhood ever stopped having pool parties and ever stopped having people over to their houses.)

Not one of many interviews and articles with infectious disease EXPERTS think it is a good idea to open up. Not one. I heard an interview a Florida representative yesterday who said that if you think you are in danger, stay home,but the rest of us should go spend money. Hmmm...that would work fine except for the fact that you can still spread this disease w/out knowing you have it! It is like peeing in a pool; it will spread wherever and however it wants to. I am at a point where I do not care if you endanger your own self and your family because a hair cut is the most important thing in your life, but I do care that you are endangering me. Valuing hair cuts, manicures, tattoos, and restaurant meals over peoples' LIVES - - what a sick and disgusting attitude that prevails in this clearly not so "great" country of ours.

Sun, 06/07/2020 - 8:30pm

And when your so called 'spike' doesn't happen, will you still be so indignant?

Mon, 06/08/2020 - 1:37am

Rose, then lock yourself at home until there is a vaccine. No one is endangering you if you don't go out. But you might be at home for a very long time.

Mon, 06/08/2020 - 12:39pm

I actually read several articles with epidemiologists who said that based on Michigan's case figures, it was fine to open up in a responsible way. I am no fan of the vague reopening criteria the governor used during this crisis, but her go-slow approach should give people confidence. These guidelines lower risk but no one said they make life risk free.

It may not be comfortable to consider, but we individually (and the government overall) make cost-benefit judgments daily in living our lives. It would be safer not to allow people to drive cars, but we do, with restrictions. It would be save lives to ban public eating, drinking or grooming until there is a COVID vaccine (actually, banning them regardless of COVID would reduce common colds, food poisoning and the flu), but people want to enjoy their lives and a service-based economy cannot stay shut down until 2022.

Former customer
Sun, 06/07/2020 - 11:39am

So far there are only a few businesses that opened against the Governor’s orders in my small town. I am pretty sure the couple weeks they have been open may have them eagerly awaiting customers to return.
I will never set foot in those businesses again. They put themselves ahead of my family members that have medical issues.
They will likely do well without me but I cannot and will not give them a red cent. I will use this memory to push them out of business any future opportunity I get.

Sun, 06/07/2020 - 8:34pm

Well bless your heart. If you and yours who were so terrified were staying home like good citizens, what do you have to worry about? Your governor kept you safe right?

Mon, 06/08/2020 - 1:51am

I'm sure they don't need your business. How are they putting themselves ahead of your family members? If your family members have medical issues, they shouldn't be at a salon anyway. My guess is you have been able to financially get thru the shutdown. So you have no understanding for someone who just wants to put food on their table. Your desire to destroy their business reveals your true character. And it isn't good.

Megan Vox
Tue, 06/09/2020 - 8:59am

Businesses provide a service to customers, or else they wouldn't be in business. A store that opens and sells someone something that they wanted and needed is a good thing- a willing and sovereign citizen was able to get what they wanted and needed. It is absurd to think that you or a collection of distant bureaucrats can decide what actions people can engage in and what actions they can't- to suggest that the government should control every interaction between adults would have been laughably radical months ago. Yet now the mask is apparently off and the Democratic Party of my youth has been revealed to have been taken over by these radicals- these socialists and communists and fascists. Let free people make free decisions in this land of the free and home of the brave.

Mon, 06/15/2020 - 12:52pm

Well, the ‘radical, left-wing’ Democrats have absolutely saved lives in Michigan. Look at the graphs!
Our new cases have fallen below 200 a day now, even with the highest levels of testing we've ever done so far—over 14k a day. The positive test rate (around 3%) is way, way below the 12% recommended by epidemiologists for re-opening businesses.
The lockdown did exactly what it was supposed to—it kept people alive and out of the hospitals.
Now if people wear masks inside, maintain physical distancing and don’t act stupid, maybe we can get a lot of people back to work and avoid the major outbreaks that are happening right now in places like Florida, Texas (where the governor is leaving social distancing up to ‘individual choices,’ —how is that working for y’all?) and Arizona.
Because it is not even close to being over yet. Not even close.
Masks help a lot. Multiple epidemiologists have pointed out that wearing a mask does not give you superpowers, but it does afford a layer of protection for the people around you, as well as yourself.
Mask up. Stay away from other people you don’t live with. Get over the fact that women (gasp! Including a black woman!) are telling you what to do. Because they're right.

Robyn A Tonkin
Mon, 06/15/2020 - 2:09pm

People are going to do whatever they want to do. Americans of today cannot live without showing up at restaurants and bars to cut a wide swathe socially, throw money around and see all their friends. They are psychologically impelled to show up at entertainment venues of every stripe so they can brag about it to everybody at work the next day, how they "made the scene" and blew lots of money. It's just the way it is. We'll stay home, because we don't want your germs, thanks very much. No money dropped in bars or restaurants for very, very overpriced food and drink for us, nor going to group events to drop more money on buying bragging rights. We're not going to fly anywhere, either. BTW, as well as cooking our own food, and conconcting our own beverages, we can cut our own hair, wash and DRIVE our own car, launder our own dog's fur, and find ways to get exercise that don't involve watching people drape them themselves on the equipment pretending to work out. We did not think deindustrialization of the heartland was a good idea, but apparently a lot of people did, so here we are with millions of people providing unnecesary services as a way of getting money to pay their bills. It's not working very well, that deindustrialization, is it.