Michigan restaurants wait for court ruling on latest COVID-19 restrictions

Published: Nov. 30, 2020 at 5:52 PM EST
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GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) -(11/30/20)-”We were starting to bounce back when they opened back up, but the governor could say ok we are ready to open back up 100 percent. But the public is not ready for it yet,” said White Horse restaurant owner, Chris Poulos.

After months of struggling to survive the first wave of COVID-19 restrictions that shutdown in person dining across the state-- owners of restaurants like The White Horse in Flint, thought the worst was behind them- when they were finally able to reopen for in-person dining in June.

“Yes, we were bouncing back and it was coming around nicely,” Poulos said.

But a recent surge in coronavirus cases, has once again shut their doors. This time for a three week pause.

“All of a sudden for her to yank the carpet from under us, I hope she doesn’t become the Grinch that stole Christmas,” he said,

Two weeks ago, the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association filed a lawsuit against Michigan Department of Health and Human Services over the 3-week pause that went into effect a few weeks ago that once halted in-person dining at Michigan restaurants.

The MRLA said it offered to reduce capacity, which was already at 50%, and implement a curfew, but indoor dining was forced to stop. The MRLA said it fears possible restaurant closures due to the pause.

“I’m fortunate that I can withstand this for a little while longer, but not a lot longer,” Poulos said.

A federal judge is expected to issue a ruling as early as Tuesday on whether he will issue a preliminary injunction against Michigan that would allow bars and restaurants to reopen. If the court rules against the MRLA, the restrictions will stay in place until at least December 8th.

“I’m hoping to get us open. But again selling this bill of good to the public. Are they going to come around? They’re the ones we need,” he said.

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