(Photo by Carlos Osorio-Pool/Getty Images)

Michigan’s current COVID-19 restrictions for restaurants and businesses are being eased starting this Friday (March 5).

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced today (March 2) that restaurants and bars will be able to operate at 50% indoor dining capacity, up to 100 people. A curfew will still be in place, but will now be at 11 p.m. instead of 10 p.m.

As for retail shops, they’ll be able to operate at 50% indoor capacity, verses the current 30%. Indoor private residential gatherings will be allowed for up to 15 people from three different households. Indoor gatherings that aren’t at a private residence, such as public events, will be allowed for up to 25 people.

Also starting Friday, venues such as bowling alleys and movie theatres will be allowed to increase capacity to 50%. Gyms will be allowed to operate at 30% capacity, with proper social distancing protocols.

“As we continue our vaccine rollout and make steady progress against the virus, we are taking additional incremental steps to re-engage to ensure we are protecting our families and frontline workers and saving lives,” Whitmer said in a release.

“Michigan is a national leader in the fight against COVID-19, and our fact-based, data-driven approach will help our state rebuild our economy and resume normal day-to-day activities. As always, mask up, maintain social distancing, and wash your hands. We all have a personal responsibility to slow the spread of the virus so we can end this pandemic together. One of the most important things Michiganders can do is make a plan to get the safe and effective vaccine when it’s available to you.”

Also part of the eased restrictions, family members will be able to visit relatives in nursing homes after they have received a negative COVID-19 test.

Right now, all eyes are on the COVID-19 variants. Currently, 314 cases of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant have been detected in 19 counties.

Anne Erickson's love for music drew her into radio, and she started shortly after graduating from MSU. She has a passion for rock and metal, plus local music. She also fronts the band Upon Wings. Email Anne at erickson@WRIF.com, follow her on Instagram at @EricksonAnne and tweet at her @AnneErickson!