Reactions to Whitmer restaurant capacity expansion

gretchen whitmer
Posted at 3:39 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-02 18:25:19-05

WESTERN MICHIGAN — Today Whitmer announced that starting this Friday restaurants will allow to expand their capacity to 50%. This announcement has prompted responses from lawmakers and restaurant owners alike.

“Today’s announcement by Gov. Whitmer is woefully inadequate, ensures we remain completely out of step regionally and nationally, and will drive more Michiganders out of their jobs and out of our state.” Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said.

Mike Shirkey MEME.jpg

“The governor continues to claim her decisions are based on data and science, but she refuses to actually share the data or science she’s using. Without transparency, her orders look less like science and more like control. Michiganders deserve better.” Shirkey explained.

“Bars and restaurant have now been open for more than a month at 25 percent capacity, and in that time, COVID numbers across the board have continued to fall,” Michigan Licensed Beverage Association Executive Director Scott Ellis said. “Our industry is not a significant contributor to the spread of the virus and we look forward to expanding dine-in service safely and continuing to prove our establishments are safe.”

"We welcome the governor’s decision today to expand restaurant, banquet and meeting space occupancy and consider this change critically important, but the six-week duration of this Order is concerning and significantly too long to adapt to rapidly changing metrics around this virus.” Said Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association (MRLA) President & CEO Justin Winslow. “We are hopeful that this DHHS Order represents a paradigm shift in the administration’s overall approach to the hospitality industry, accepting that the dramatically reduced hospitalization rate and increased vaccine distribution mean our most vulnerable populations are protected and that reopening should advance in a timely manner. While we are disappointed about the length of the Order given the fragile state of the hospitality industry and improving outcomes, we are committed to working toward collaborative and consistent – emphasis on consistent – progress towards the full reintegration of the industry as Michigan moves more fully into a new phase of this pandemic."

“Today’s update fixes that. I thank the governor for her response, and I urge her to lift some of her other restrictions doing so much damage to our residents and their way of life.” Senate Majority Floor Leader Dan Lauwers said.