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Jul 2020
11
July 11, 2020

No Shirt, No Shoes, No Mask—No Service! State of Michigan’s Current Rules on Reopening

On July 9, 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-145 regarding safeguards to protect Michigan workers. On July 10, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-147 expanding the mask use requirement for Michigan residents and businesses. These executive orders are the latest in a series of executive orders issued by Governor Whitmer responding to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
 
On June 1, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-110 (Reopen Order), which permitted limited activities under the Michigan Safe Start Plan. On June 5, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-115 (Supplemental Reopen Order). The Supplemental Reopen Order did not rescind the Reopen Order but modified it for Regions 6 and 8 by permitting social gatherings, performances and events, and by opening indoor swimming pools. The Supplemental Reopen Order also allowed non-essential personal care services in all of Michigan. The Reopen Order was further modified by Executive Order 2020-133 that addresses restarting professional sports, and Executive Order 2020-143 which recently closed indoor services at bars in all of Michigan.
 
WORKPLACE SAFEGUARDS
 
Workplace safeguards have been part of Governor Whitmer’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Orders and were formalized in a separate order under Executive Order 2020-97. Executive Order 2020-97 was rescinded and replaced by Executive Order 2020-114 (summarized here) which has now been rescinded and replaced by Executive Order 2020-145 (Safeguards Order). The new Safeguards Order creates specific workplace rules governing meat and poultry processing plants and requires all businesses and operations to provide any communication (including posters) and training on COVID-19 in the languages that are common in their employee population. The Safeguards Order also updates the rules on restaurants and bars regarding the limitations of Executive Order 2020-143. The Safeguards Order further mandates that all businesses or operations (not just offices) require face coverings in shared spaces, including during in-person meetings and in restrooms and hallways.
 
NEW MASK ORDER
 
Requirement: The broader face covering requirement under the Safeguards Order was supplemented by Executive Order 2020-147 (Mask Order) which requires any individual who leaves their home or place of residence to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth:
 
  • When in any indoor public space.
  • When outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from individuals who are not members of their household.
  • When waiting for or riding on public transportation, while in a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle, or when using a private car service as a means of hired transportation.

Exceptions: The requirement to wear a face covering does not apply to individuals who:
 
  • Are younger than five years old, though children two years old and older are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering.
  • Cannot medically tolerate a face covering.
  • Are eating or drinking while seated at a food service establishment.
  • Are exercising and wearing a face covering would interfere in the activity.
  • Are receiving a service for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service.
  • Are entering a business or are receiving a service and are asked to temporarily remove a face covering for identification purposes.
  • Are communicating with someone who is hearing impaired or otherwise disabled and where the ability to see the mouth is essential to communication.
  • Are actively engaged in a public safety role, including but not limited to law enforcement personnel, firefighters or emergency medical personnel.
  • Are officiating at a religious service.
  • Are giving a speech for broadcast or an audience.

Requirements on Businesses: The Mask Order requires that any business open to the public may not provide service to a customer or allow a customer to enter its premises, unless the customer is wearing a face covering as required by the Mask Order. Businesses that are open to the public must post signs at entrance(s) instructing customers of their legal obligation to wear a face covering while inside. A violation of this Mask Order by a business may result in the temporary suspension of the business’s license to operate (including but not limited to a liquor license). This requirement is effective at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, July 13, 2020.
 
SUMMARY OF THE REOPEN ORDERS
 
Businesses and Activities to Remain Closed
 
Under the Reopen Order, work that can be performed remotely (without people leaving their home or place of residence) must be performed remotely. In Regions 6 and 8, the Supplemental Reopen Order notes that work that can be performed remotely (without people leaving their home or place of residence) should be performed remotely.
 
Retailers and non-essential personal care services, including hair, nail, tanning, massage, traditional spa, tattoo, body art and piercing services, and similar personal care services that involve close contact of persons are permitted to open throughout the State of Michigan, subject to compliance with the Safeguards Order
.
Under the Reopen Order, except as noted below, the following places are to remain closed to ingress, egress, use and occupancy by members of the public:
 
  • Indoor theaters, cinemas and performance venues.
  • Indoor gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, sports facilities, exercise facilities, exercise studios and the like.
  • Indoor public swimming pools.
  • Casinos licensed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, racetracks licensed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board and Millionaire Parties licensed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
  • Indoor services or facilities or outdoor services or facilities involving close contact of persons for amusement or other recreational or entertainment purposes such as amusement parks, arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, indoor climbing facilities, indoor dance areas, skating rinks, trampoline parks and other similar recreational or entertainment facilities.

The following places are not included in the above restrictions:
 
  • Outdoor fitness classes, athletic practices, training sessions or games, provided that coaches, spectators and participants not from the same household maintain six feet of distance from one another at all times during such activities, and that equipment and supplies are shared to the minimum extent possible and are subject to frequent and thorough disinfection and cleaning.
  • Services necessary for medical treatment as determined by a licensed medical provider.
  • Health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities and juvenile justice facilities.
  • Crisis shelters or similar institutions.

Activities Permitted Only in Regions 6 and 8
 
  1. An arcade, bowling alley, cinema, climbing facility, convention center, performance space, meeting hall, night club, sports arena, theater or similar venue may, if it is indoors, be open to spectators or patrons, but only to the extent that it:
    • Enables persons not part of the same household to maintain six feet of distance from one another at all times while in the venue.
    • Limits the number of people in the venue to 25% of its maximum capacity or to 250, whichever is smaller. For purposes of this calculation, each separate auditorium or screening room is a separate venue.
  2. A concert space, race track, sports arena, stadium or similar venue may, if it is outdoors, be open to spectators or patrons, but only to the extent that it:
    • Enables persons not part of the same household to maintain six feet of distance from one another at all times while in the venue.
    • Limits the number of people in the venue to 25% of its maximum capacity or to 500, whichever is smaller.
  3. Indoor and outdoor public swimming pools may now be open, subject to guidance issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, provided that:
    • Outdoor swimming pools limit capacity to 50% of the bather capacity.
    • Indoor swimming pools limit capacity to 25% of the bather capacity.
 
Restaurants and Bars
 
Restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses and like places may be open to the public subject to the capacity constraints and workplace standards described in the Safeguards Order including the provisions limiting capacity to 50% of normal seating and requiring six feet of separation between parties or groups at different tables or bar tops.

However, under Executive Order 2020-143, any food service establishment that serves alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption must, both indoors and outdoors:
 
  • Require patrons to wear a face covering except when seated at their table or bar top (unless the patron is unable medically to tolerate a face covering).
  • Require patrons to remain seated at their tables or bar tops, except to enter or exit the premises, order food or use the restroom.
  • Sell alcoholic beverages only via table service, not via orders at the bar except to patrons seated at the bar.
  • Prohibit access to common areas in which people can congregate, dance or otherwise mingle.

Moreover, under Executive Order 2020-143, any food service establishment that holds an on-premises retailer license to sell alcoholic beverages must close for indoor service if the establishment earns more than 70% of the establishment’s gross receipts from sales of alcoholic beverages. If a bar is closed for indoor service, the bar must prohibit patrons from entering the establishment except to walk through in order to access the outdoor area, to leave the establishment or to use the restroom.
 
Permitted Social Gatherings
 
In Regions 1 through 5 and Region 7:
 
  • Indoor social gatherings and events among persons not part of a single household are permitted only with 10 or less people.
  • Outdoor social gatherings and events among persons not part of a single household are permitted, but only to the extent that: (i) the gathering or event does not exceed 100 people; and (ii) people not part of the same household maintain six feet of distance from one another.

In just Regions 6 and 8, a social gathering or organized event among persons not part of the same household (Event) is permitted, but only to the extent that:
 
  • Persons not part of the same household maintain six feet of distance from one another.
  • If the Event is indoors, the Event does not exceed 50 people.
  • If Event is outdoors, the Event does not exceed 250 people.
 

These restrictions do not apply to incidental gatherings of persons in a shared space, including an airport, bus station, factory floor, restaurant, shopping mall, public pool or workplace.
 
Outdoor Parks and Recreational Facilities
 
Unless otherwise prohibited by local regulation, outdoor parks and recreational facilities may open, provided that they make any reasonable modifications necessary to enable employees and patrons not part of the same household to maintain six feet of distance from one another, and provided that areas in which social distancing cannot be maintained be closed, subject to guidance issued by the Department of Health and Human Services.
 
Unless otherwise prohibited by local regulation, public swimming pools can be open if the pool is outdoors. The pool must be limited to 50% of the bather capacity and remains subject to guidance issued by the Department of Health and Human Services.
 
You can find the executive orders that are currently in effect here, including the Reopen Order, the Supplemental Reopen Order, the Safeguards Order and the Mask Order. Warner has organized a cross-disciplinary legal team to help you navigate through all of these stay-at-home orders. If you have any questions or concerns related to any of the executive orders or any previously issued stay-at-home order, please reach out to your Warner client manager or Michael Brady, Troy Cumings, Amanda Fielder, Matthew Johnson or Linda Paullin-Hebden.

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