Gov. Whitmer planning to loosen more COVID-19 restrictions this week

Posted at 11:24 AM, May 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 17:15:31-04

(WXYZ) — Expect an announcement on COVID-19 restrictions soon, the governor's office said Wednesday.

Restrictions are expected to be relaxed this week, a spokesman for the governor confirmed.

View the full statement from the governor's office below:

We know that the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines are the best way for people to protect themselves. That’s why Governor Whitmer originally launched the MI Vacc to Normal plan to encourage vaccinations and set a clear path back to normal. With the CDC recommending that fully vaccinated people can safely return to normal life, we feel confident that our state can begin taking even greater steps to get back to normal now that a majority of Michiganders have received their vaccine. I would expect an announcement in the coming days or week.

Last week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that fully vaccinated Michiganders will no longer be required to wear a mask or face covering indoors or outdoors, in accordance with updated CDC guidelines.

Under the updated MDHHS Gatherings and Mask Order, Michiganders who are outdoors will no longer need to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status. While indoors, fully vaccinated Michiganders will no longer need to wear a mask, but residents who are not vaccinated, or have not completed their vaccinations, must continue to wear a mask or face covering to protect themselves and others.

After July 1, the broad indoor mask mandate will expire.

Right now, the Italian American Society banquet hall is limited to only 25 people inside. If the governor moves to step two of her plan, that would increase to 25% of capacity, but still, it would be below what they can legally do with guests inside tents. They are moving into their peak season with graduations, proms and weddings and decorating a big tent outside today.

Alex Lozovoj is the general manager at the Society. He tells 7 Action News, “Last year we were down probably 70%.”

We talked with customers outside of Kroger in Clinton Township. Starting tomorrow they no longer have to wear masks inside the store if they are vaccinated. Kroger joining several other major national retailers lifting those mask requirements.

“I think it’s time we get back to normal living, enjoy ourselves,” says Betty Hough, a Kroger customer.

Local governmental officials talking with 7 Action News say the pressure is really on Gov. Whitmer to move away from her original plan and open up more business.

Carey Mueller was walking out with his Kroger groceries with his son Wesley and says, “(The governor) did what she needed to do. But now I just think she’s just behind it now.”

It is not known when the governor will announce her reduced restrictions or what they might be.

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