Gov. Whitmer Reopens Michigan June 15: Including Hair Salons, Some Sports Venues, Theaters, More

Christy Strawser
June 05, 2020 - 11:18 am

(WWJ) In news that some Michiganders have been begging for the last few weeks, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Friday that hair salons, gyms, theaters, performance spaces and sports venues -- with limited capacity -- will be able to re-open on June 15.

"Please do not drop your guard now," Whitmer urged, saying, "get ready, but stay urgent."

She added that "COVID-19 is still very present in Michigan ... Recall that we are still in this. We are in this together and if everyone continues to do their part we will continue to be able to move forward together."

Barbershops, hair and nail salons and spas have been closed since March due to concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The first easing of restrictions across the state affects bars and restaurants, which are to begin reopening on Monday, June 8, with social distancing and other measures. June 10 will bring the reopening of hair salons, movie theaters and gyms in regions 6 and 8 -- Traverse City and other regions Up North -- plus sports facilities, performances and other outdoor gatherings limited to 500 people.

Reopening across Michigan of all salons, gyms, theaters, indoor and outdoor venues, including sports facilities and performance spaces, will begin June 15 with capacity limited to 500 people for outdoor venues and other safety measures. 

"This is good news, it's another positive sign that we are ready to move our economy forward safely and responsibly," Whitmer said. 

Tourism officials said it will allow for small weddings, meetings, travel, and more. "There's a pent-up demand for travel," the Michigan Convention and Visitor's Bureau said. "I would like to encourage you to travel within our own beautiful state this fall and winter."

Hair cuts have been at the center of a controversy since last week when Whitmer said if you're one of the people driving to Ohio for a haircut, "I hope and pray you are doing your part not to bring COVID-19 home and that if you haven’t, Google how you do a haircut or throw your hair into a ponytail and get through the next couple of weeks so we can resume some of these things.”

Whitmer apologized for that remark Friday after hairdressers complained bitterly that it unfairly treated their profession as something anyone could do. "I think that this is an important profession," she said.

Notably, in Owosso, one barber now in a court battle with state made headlines when he refused to stay closed. 

While salons remain on standby until June 15, Whitmer said restaurant, bar other business owners need to be getting their personal protection equipment and safety procedures in place so they can reopen next Monday, June 8. 

"For businesses out there it's really important that right now they are studying the protocols and procuring the PPE they need," Whitmer said. "It doesn't mean we can all drop our guard and stop wearing masks. That's going to be a part of our lives for quite awhile here."

Bars and restaurants will only be allowed to operate at half capacity, with groups sitting at least 6 feet apart, and servers will be required to wear masks, under an executive order signed Monday. 

Libraries and museums and drive-in movie theaters will also be allowed to reopen on June 8. Shopping will also open up a bit more this Thursday, and the governor is further easing limits on gatherings. 

Get all the details about what's opening in Michigan, and what will remain closed for now HERE