Salons, Gyms, Theaters Reopened as State Moves to Phase 5 of Start Plan

Michiganders who’ve been clamoring to get a haircut, go to the gym or see a movie are finally getting their wish.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed executive orders 2020-115 and 2020-114 to reopen more regions and economic sectors under the MI Safe Start Plan, and those orders include salons, movie theaters and gyms, subject to strict safety protocols designed to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Regions 6 and 8 – which include much of northern Michigan and all of the Upper Peninsula – will advance to phase five of the plan starting June 10. Five days later, on June 15, personal services including hair, massages, and nails will reopen statewide.

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Though the remaining regions, 1 through 5 and 7, will remain in Phase 4 under Friday’s executive orders, the governor said she expects the entire state will advance to Phase 5 in the coming weeks. 

“Today marks another milestone in the safe reopening of Michigan’s economy,” Whitmer said. “As we continue to slowly reopen different parts of our state, it’s critical that we listen to the experts and follow the medical science to avoid a second wave of infections.

“The good news is that we are headed in the right direction, and if the current trajectory continues, I anticipate we’ll be able to announce more sectors reopening in the coming weeks. We owe it to our front line workers to keep doing our part,” she added. 

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Scott Weaver, owner and CEO of Dougas J, said the beauty industry in Michigan expressed “our absolute excitement and appreciation” for the re-opening of the cosmetology and barbering industry in the state.

“The cosmetology and barbering industry in Michigan is well prepared to manage and safe guard the health and wellbeing of our clients and the public in general in this reopening,” Weaver said. “As the owner and CEO of Douglas J, on behalf of our entire Douglas J family, and the entire beauty industry, I want to acknowledge and give appreciation to the governor. Your work in safeguarding our health, and now reopening and rebuilding our economy is surely a giant task, and we thank you most sincerely.”

Megan DeWindt, site director for Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey called arts and culture “vital aspects” of Northern Michigan’s economy and “directly contribute” to quality of life issues.

“These aspects of our community also enhance the experiences of our visitors, particularly during the summer months,” DeWindt said. “Across the 10-county Northwest Michigan region, nearly 100 nonprofit and public entities provide opportunities to access and participate in music, performing arts, and visual arts. We are ready to safely welcome guests back into the region’s galleries, museums, theaters, and performance spaces.” 

Highlights of things allowed under Phase 5:

  • Indoor social gatherings and organized events of up to 50 people are permissible.
  • Outdoor social gatherings and organized events are also allowed if people maintain six feet of distance from one another and the gathering consists of no more than 250 people.
  • In addition, outdoor performance and sporting venues will be open with a larger capacity limit of 500, which will allow for some outdoor graduation ceremonies. 

In addition, Governor Whitmer has issued an updated rule laying out new workplace safeguards for gyms, in-home services, hair salons, and entertainment venues.