By Mike Kruzman & Jon King /

A new resource guide is available to Livingston County restaurants and bars that will help make certain they are as ready as possible for the day when they can again reopen their doors to the public. However, a portion of it seemingly stands in opposition to guidelines set forth by public health officials.

The Michigan Licensed Beverage Association (MLBA) has released its Ready to Reopen Resource Guide for Michigan bars and restaurants. MLBA Executive Director Scott Ellis said, in a release, that they were supportive of Governor Whitmer’s initial orders to temporarily shut down for the greater good, health and safety of Michiganders. But he also continued, saying, “However, the extensions have shut us down for too long. It’s time to start opening back up or many businesses will remain shuttered forever.”

According to the MLBA, the hospitality industry is the second largest economic sector in the state in terms of unemployment, and is losing between $500-million and $1-billion per month due to the shutdown. Ellis notes that they are already one of the most regulated industries in the state, and says they know how to follow rules and sanitize. He said they are prepared to practice safe social distancing measures, but do not believe they should be restricted by occupancy limits.

However, that opinion may be at odds with the conclusion of public health officials including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Even the White House guidelines for for reopening sectors of the economy call for strict social distancing measures in the initial phase of reopening for dine-in restaurants. Such measures would mandate an occupancy limit.

The 20 page Ready to Reopen guide includes sections on cleaning and sanitation, social distancing, how monitor employee health, and food and beverage safety.