Governor Whitmer announced at her Coronavirus Update that parts of Michigan will begin opening Friday, just in time for Memorial Day travel.

We all knew something was coming down the pipe when Gov Whitmer moved the press conference time from it's normal later afternoon time slot. Whitmer did not disappoint as she announced that parts of Michigan would be allowed to open this Friday. The big announcement was that bars, restaurants, and retail offices would be allowed to open in the U.P. and Traverse City region. The regions are broken down in the MI Safe Start Plan here.

Michigan.Gov

Governor Whitmer said in her press conference today that regions 6 & 8 would be opening at 50% capacity for the holiday weekend. The specific cities and villages in those regions will also have the right to opt out of opening if they wish. Governor Whitmer reassured that safety was the number one concern.

It’s crucial that all businesses do everything in their power to protect their workers, customers, and their families. And as we approach Memorial Day weekend, I encourage everyone to be smart and be safe. My team and I will continue to work around the clock to protect the people of Michigan

This is big news for Michiganders all over the state, even if you had no plans of visiting any of the regions that are opening. It means that we are starting the process of getting back to normal, and hopefully putting some of the anger aside.

I'm curious to see what the reaction will be from the people that live in the regions opening up. When the pandemic started, northern Michigan residents were very vocal about not wanting anyone from "downstate" coming up to their vacation homes. That was when all of the businesses were closed, so think about how much more busy it will be when they are open.

The other thing that worries me is that the businesses have to operate at 50% capacity, during what would be their busiest weekend of the year. I know the crowds will be much smaller, but this could turn into a giant cluster real quick.