Gov. Whitmer Orders Mandatory Mask Use Indoors, Crowded Outdoors and $500 Violation Fine

Governor Whitmer signed executive order 2020-147, which reiterates that individuals are required to wear a face-covering whenever they are in an indoor public space. It also requires the use of face coverings in crowded outdoor spaces. Most significantly, the order requires any business that is open to the public to refuse entry or service to people who refuse to wear a face covering, with limited exceptions.

Any individual who leaves their home or place of residence must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth:

a. When in any indoor public space;
b. When outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from individuals who are not members of their household; and
c. When waiting for or riding on public transportation, while in a taxi or ridesharing vehicle, or when using a private car service as a means of hired transportation.

The requirement to wear a face-covering does not apply to individuals who:

a. Are younger than five years old, though children two years old and older are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering, pursuant to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”);

b. Cannot medically tolerate a face covering;

c. Are eating or drinking while seated at a food service establishment;

d. Are exercising when wearing a face covering would interfere in the activity;

e. Are receiving a service for which temporary removal of the face-covering is necessary to perform the service;

f. Are entering a business or are receiving a service and are asked to temporarily remove a face covering for identification purposes;

g. Are communicating with someone who is hearing impaired or otherwise disabled and where the ability to see the mouth is essential to communication;

h. Are actively engaged in a public safety role, including but not limited to law enforcement, firefighters, or emergency medical personnel;

i. Are officiating at a religious service; or

j. Are giving a speech for broadcast or an audience.

“The heroes on the front lines of this crisis have gone hours without taking their masks off every day – doctors, nurses, child care workers, grocery store workers. We owe it to them to wear our masks when we’re on a trip to the grocery store or pharmacy,” said Governor Whitmer. “Masks can reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19 by about 70 percent. By wearing masks, we can save lives and protect our family, friends, and neighbors from the spread of COVID-19. And by wearing masks now, we can put our state in a stronger position so our kids can return to school safely in the fall. For the sake of your loved ones, let’s all mask up, Michigan.”

Under the governor’s order, businesses that are open to the public must refuse entry and service to individuals who fail to comply and must post signs at all entrances instructing customers of their legal obligation to wear a face-covering while inside. Those who are exempt from wearing a mask in Michigan businesses include people younger than five years old, those who cannot medically tolerate a face covering, and those who are eating or drinking while seated at a food service establishment.

A willful violation of the order is a misdemeanor subject to a $500 criminal penalty, but no term of confinement may be imposed on individuals who violate the mask requirement. No individual is subject to penalty under the order for removing a mask while engaging in religious worship at a house of religious worship, although consistent with guidance from the CDC, congregants are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings during religious services.

The executive order takes effect at 12:01 am on Monday, July 13.

To view Executive Order 2020-147 CLICK HERE

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