Bars and restaurants left with questions about Michigan’s looser mask mandate

Each business likely handling mask restrictions differently as they seek answers to their questions
Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 10:51 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (05/14/2021) - Starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, anyone fully vaccinated for COVID-19 in Michigan can remove their masks in most settings.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services updated its guidelines on Friday. But there are still a lot of questions, especially for businesses, so some are keeping their policies in place until they get answers.

The scene in downtown Flint was a bit confusing on Friday following major news that Michigan is dropping most of its mask requirement for fully-vaccinated people on Saturday morning.

Some were walking outside without a mask while others insisted they keep theirs on.

”I’m gonna wear it even though I am fully vaccinated. I actually have three younger siblings. They can’t get vaccinated, so I also do want to keep them protected. I also have a three-month old cousin who I watch every day, so I wear a mask in front of her as well,” said Victoria Coulter said, who is from Davison and now lives in Detroit.

Residents who aren’t vaccinated for COVID-19 still have to put wear a mask until the mandate is mostly lifted on July 1. People who are fully vaccinated should hang onto their masks after the change Saturday morning, because some businesses like bars and restaurants are keeping their mask policies.

”I’m just gonna kinda keep what I have in place, you know like when you come in, you have your mask on or at least have your mask with you until it gets all sorted out. It seems like it’s so crazy right now,” said Rodney Ott, who owns of The Loft in Flint.

Business owners like Ott had more questions than answers on Friday night.

Jerrid Heidel at Blackstone’s Smokehouse says he’s not sure if they’re supposed to be using the trust method or what process is supposed to be in place. He too doesn’t plan on making any major changes right now, but he’s asking for people to be respectful while they get answers.

”Be patient with every business out there. This has been such a hard track for all of us, so the more we can be patient and understanding what we’re all going through, I think the better we’re going to feel about things,” Heidel said.

ABC12 reached out to the health department and governor’s office, asking how businesses should know if someone has been vaccinated or not.

The governor’s office forwarded our question to the state health department, but we did not get a response on Friday.

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