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Grand Rapids Travel Updates & Openings

Updated:11/17/2020

Effective November 18, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has issued Pause to Save Lives, a three-week set of rules to combat the further spread of COVID-19. We welcome visitors to Grand Rapids and Kent County with a reminder that these guidelines are in effect through December 8:

  • Masks are required in all enclosed public spaces as well as in all non-residential gatherings and all public transit systems. Any business can refuse entry or service to people who refuse to wear face coverings. See more details below about face masks.
  • Indoor restaurant dining rooms and bars are closed. Outdoor dining and carryout/delivery are permitted.
  • Entertainment venues such as movie theaters, stadiums and arenas are closed.
  • Recreational facilities such as bowling alleys and indoor water parks are closed.
  • Organized sports (except professional sports) are not permitted.
  • Retail stores, museums and libraries may remain open and must limit guests to no more than 30% of capacity.
  • Exercise facilities may remain open with occupancy limited to 25% of capacity. Group fitness classes are not permitted.
  • Hair, nail, massage, tattoo and similar personal care services are permitted to accept guests by appointment only.
  • Indoor gatherings at non-residential venues are not permitted. Outdoor gatherings at non-residential venues are limited to 25 or fewer people –20 people per 1,000 sq. ft. for venues without fixed seating and 20% of seating capacity for venues with fixed seating.

Face Masks & Coverings Required

To combat the spread of Covid-19 in Michigan, face coverings are required: 1) in all indoor public spaces, 2) in outdoor spaces where you cannot stay at least six feet away from people not in your household, and 3) when waiting for or riding on public transportation (including ride-sharing vehicles).

You do not have to wear a face covering when eating or drinking while seated at a restaurant. Children under five years old and those who can’t medically tolerate a face covering are also exempt from the order. Seven additional exceptions are listed in the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services' Epidemic Order.

This order applies to all Grand Rapids-area restaurants, retail shops, tourist attractions and the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. Visitors to attractions with outdoor areas such as John Ball Zoo and Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park will need masks at admissions and should keep their masks handy in case they encounter a crowded spot outside.

Thank you for doing your part to keep Grand Rapids safe!

Please scroll down to read what’s happening in different sectors of the visitor economy. Not all businesses are opening all at once – many are still in the process of implementing health and safety protocols to help protect customers and employees. Be sure to call ahead or check Facebook to confirm hours of operation and other details.

We’ll update this page to reflect new updates, so check back often.

Airport

The Gerald R. Ford International Airport has introduced a Fly Safe. Fly Ford. campaign to educate travelers on new precautions for their health and restore confidence in air travel. New safety features at the airport include continuous cleaning protocols, hand sanitizer stations, plexiglass dividers at interaction points, visual cues to reinforce physical distancing, and PPE available in concession areas and through vending machines. Passengers, guests and airport personnel are required to wear facial coverings throughout the terminal and all enclosed areas. Explore more airport safety measures and travel tips.

Hotels

Hotels are ready to welcome all guests traveling to the area. Indoor pools and exercise rooms will begin to reopen at reduced capacity. Attendance allowed at indoor gatherings is 50 people so hotel meeting space can be used confidently. Please check with the hotel for details on specific amenities availability and safety procedures.

Dining & Drinking

Restaurants, breweries, distilleries, cideries, coffeehouses and other food & drink establishments are closed for indoor service from November 18-December 1. Guests can still take advantage of outdoor seating and carryout/delivery service. We encourage you to check with an establishment directly to confirm hours of operation, takeout services, and outdoor dining availability.

Many local restaurants have signed on to the Michigan Restaurant Promise, which spells out their commitment to guests—including daily staff wellness checks, spacing outdoor tables at least six feet apart, implementing CDC-approved cleaning and sanitizing protocols, and more. In return, these eateries request that guests adhere to certain safety measures, including staying home if you feel sick, wearing a face mask when not at your table and maintaining proper social distance. Check out the list of Michigan Restaurant Promise members.

Attractions

All area attractions are permitted to open. The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum and Grand Rapids Children’s Museum remain closed, but most other museums and attractions are open. (Some seasonal attractions close for the winter). Most performing arts companies are closed but many are hosting online performances. Face masks are required indoors and outdoors when social distancing isn't possible.

Shopping

Retail stores can operate at reduced customer capacity. Rivertown Crossings Mall, Woodland Mall and Tanger Outlet Mall are open, though not all of its stores are. Select stores at all three malls are offering curbside pickup service. Other shopping areas like Breton Village Shopping Center and Gaslight Village are open for shopping. Many retailers across the region have upgraded their online shopping experience to expand access to their stores. Search our retail listings by merchandise category and neighborhood, and check with individual retailers for opening details. Face masks are required for all indoor public spaces and outdoors when six feet of distance is not possible.

Outdoor Recreation

You can explore all of our Grand Outdoors right now – bike, hike, fish, golf, visit parks, and canoe and kayak to your heart’s content. Just remember to remain at least six feet apart from anyone outside your household and if you can't you are required to wear a face mask.

Most parks remain open throughout the cold-weather season for nature walks, though restrooms may not be available. Area ski resorts are preparing to open for winter. Cross-country ski trails, ice fishing spots and fatbike courses provide plenty of space for social distancing. Lake Michigan beaches are eerily beautiful (and much less busy) in cold weather – just dress warmly!

The health and safety of visitors and residents is our paramount concern. Thank you for your patience as we reopen the right way – carefully and deliberately, with protocols and procedures in place to protect all of us as much as possible. We look forward to your visit!

The Pure Michigan PledgeThe Pure Michigan Pledge

Pure Michigan announced a statewide safety pledge for business, tourism and local communities. Building on the “Two Peninsulas, One Pure Michigan” message of strength and unity across the state during COVID-19, Pure Michigan is encouraging businesses, visitors and local communities to take the Pure Michigan Pledge, a promise to uphold local safety protocols and CDC travel guidelines to travel safely this summer season and beyond. Experience Grand Rapids has taken the pledge with pride.

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