LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan will fully lift outdoor capacity limits on June 1 and, starting July 1, end indoor gathering caps that were put in place to curb COVID-19, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced this morning in a major loosening of economic restrictions.

The state has limited occupancy in restaurants and other venues since March 2020, when the coronavirus hit. The announcement, which includes raising all indoor establishments’ capacity limits to 50% and ending bar and restaurant curfews on June 1, came nearly a week after the governor’s administration eased a mask order due to updated federal guidance.

Speaking from a minor league ballpark in Midland, Whitmer, said “Life is getting back to normal,” noting last week’s announcement by the CDC. “The guidance stated that vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks or socially distance, outdoors or indoors, other than in certain medical spaces. We have adjusted our mask policy to match the CDC recommendation. So now, in Michigan, fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors or indoors, unless required by their work or business.”

The Democratic governor scrapped a plan to tie three final reopening steps to specific statewide vaccination rates. The pace of vaccinations has slowed.
On June 1, capacity at casinos, gyms and indoor pools can rise to 50% — the current limit at many venues. The same goes for indoor weddings, funerals, conferences and graduation parties, which will not face maximum hard caps on occupancy numbers.

Outdoor stadiums, such as the Detroit Tigers’ Comerica Park, can fill their seats. Indoor places can have 100% capacity on July 1.

The state health department will issue a revised order on Monday. In the summer, Whitmer said, the state may have one or more targeted orders to protect “vulnerable populations, but for the most part, life will be back to normal and we can have the kind of Independence Day we’re all looking forward to.”

WHMI's Jon King contributed to this report