Movie theaters, gyms, bowling alleys could reopen by July 4

LANSING — July 4 may prove to be the day theaters, bowling alleys and gyms reopen across the state, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Thursday.

With the reduction in COVID-19 case counts, Whitmer has relaxed restrictions over the last several weeks on business activities and daily life. On June 1, she announced that most of the state would move to Phase 4 of the governor’s Safe Start plan, allowing retailers and restaurants to resume operations. Hair salons and other personal care services followed two weeks later. And on June 10, the Upper Peninsula and the region surrounding Traverse City were moved to Phase 5 allowing for the reopening of movie theaters, gyms and bowling alleys. If current trends continue, the rest of the state will be moved to Phase 5 by July 4.

Also Thursday, the governor signed Executive Order 2020-127, which extends the state of emergency declaration related to the COVID-19 pandemic until July 16. In doing so, Whitmer joins nearly every state in the country in maintaining a state of emergency to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. This executive order will allow her to continue taking action to protect Michigan families and workers, according to her office.

“The aggressive measures we took at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic have worked to flatten the curve, but there is still more to be done to prevent a second wave,” Whitmer said. “We owe it to the heroes on the front lines to keep doing our part by wearing a mask when in public and practicing social distancing. Now is not the time to get complacent. We must continue to stay vigilant and flexible in order to reduce the chance of a second wave.”