Michigan restaurant group sues Department of Health over indoor dining restrictions

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A Michigan restaurant group has sued the state’s health department over new coronavirus restrictions in the state.

The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association filed a lawsuit against Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director Robert Gordon on Tuesday after the department announced that restaurants and bars would not be allowed to offer meals indoors for the next three weeks.

The restaurant association, along with two other groups, has filed an injunction in federal court asking that restaurants be allowed to continue serving customers inside.

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“We only took this step after careful consideration and as the last option available to avoid the outright devastation of restaurateurs and their hundreds of thousands of employees across the state,” said the president and CEO of the Justin Winslow association in a press release.

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The association would agree to reduce the catering capacity inside to 25% and after a 10 p.m. curfew for the next three weeks.

A Michigan restaurant association has sued the state in an attempt to continue offering indoor dining after the Department of Health announced new coronavirus restrictions on Sunday. (iStock)

“While our proposal would undoubtedly involve an industry already under siege, it was presented to Director Gordon and the Governor’s Executive Office to avoid the far worse effects of an outright shutdown,” Winslow said.

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According to Winslow’s statement, the association estimates that more than 6,000 restaurants will be closed permanently in the spring.

The association filed the lawsuit with Heirloom Hospitality Group, LLC and HIH Inc., in the US District Court of Western Michigan.

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The state’s health department announced the new restrictions on Sunday as a way to “curb the rapid rise in COVID-19 infection rates,” the announcement said.

Along with restrictions on restaurants, the ministry also said that group fitness classes, organized sports, casinos, cinemas, high schools and colleges, among others, are expected to be closed for the next three weeks.

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