Have you had a meal out or grabbed drinks in one of Grand Rapids' "social zones"? The zones help restaurants who've had to limit their capacity during the pandemic expand their serving areas outside - and they're going to be around for a while.

Wood TV 8 reports that on Tuesday, March 9, the City of Grand Rapids voted to extend the social zones policy through Nov. 1. The policy had been set to expire at the end of May.

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Social Zones were first launched in June 2020, and expanded to allow consumption of alcoholic beverages in blocked-off, designated outdoor areas in August 2020.

Some of the rules for drinking alcohol in social zones includes:

  • Drinks have to be purchased from the list of licensed, participating businesses.
  • Drinks also have to be in designated 16 ounce containers with the name of the bar and the refreshment zone name on them.

According to Wood TV 8, the City also passed a measure extending effective dates for permits used for business seating, tents and other equipment needed by businesses who are utilizing the social zones.

Lou Canfield with the City of Grand Rapids said,

“This will provide continued support for economic recovery for restaurants, bars and other neighborhood businesses And also will provide some certainty as they make investments for the current outdoor dining season.”

To slow the spread of COVID-19, currently restaurants in Michigan are limited to 50% capacity and the curfew for closing is 11p.m. The order is set to expire April 19, 2021.

You can find more info on social zones here.

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