(WXYZ) — For the first time in two and a half months, patrons will be able to dine in at restaurants in metro Detroit.
However, this comes with precautions.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer is now allowing restaurants to resume dine-in at 50 percent capacity, following social distancing guidelines.
Bars and restaurants hit hard by COVID-19 financially will no longer have to rely on take-out only.
Detroit's American Coney Island, like so many other establishments, turned to carry-out and curbside pickup only for the past two and a half months.
At American Coney Island, owner Grace Keros says patrons in different groups will be seated six feet apart. Salt and pepper shakers will be removed from tables to avoid spreading germs and sanitizing stations will be available.
"We want to see our customers," Keros says. "We want to be able to take care of you. But we want to do it in a safe manner."
Over at Louie's Ham and Corned Beef in Detroit, waitress Amanda Domdjoni says the best part of dine-in is talking to customers. Otherwise, she says, it feels like work.
While re-connecting, Domdjoni says seating will be six feet apart, including at the counter. But it's a step closer to the way things were.
A lot of restaurants are turning to outdoor seating to increase capacity.
Cities are working to speed up the outdoor permit process, helping restaurants get what they need to get back on their feet.
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
Find out how you can help metro Detroit restaurants struggling during the pandemic.
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See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.