Governor orders most bars closed

The order comes as coronavirus cases increase and after 107 people were infected at an East Lansing bar.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday afternoon ordered that all indoor bars in most of Michigan’s lower peninsula must close their doors as of 11pm that night.

The order comes on the heels of an outbreak tied to a bar in East Lansing. 107 people have tested positive for COVID-19 after visiting Harper’s Restaurant and Brewpub during the latter part of June.

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The rule only applies to businesses that make more than 70% of their earnings from alcohol sales.

“Following recent outbreaks tied to bars, I am taking this action today to slow the spread of the virus and keep people safe,” Whitmer said in a statement. “If we want to be in a strong position to reopen schools for in-person classroom instruction this fall, then we need to take aggressive action right now to ensure we don’t wipe out all the progress we have made.”

Outdoor bars

The governor signed the order shortly after she signed a series of bills loosening alcohol sales. Bars will now be allowed to sell cocktails and other alcoholic beverages to-go, and local governments will now be allowed to establish “social districts” where people can drink outdoors.

Indoor bars affected by the closure order will be allowed to operate outdoors as long as they follow safety guidelines.

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