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Governor Announces Acceleration of Michigan’s “Vacc to Normal” Plan

May 21, 2021
Business Law Advisory

On Thursday, May 20, 2021, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer revealed Michigan’s new schedule for loosening COVID-19 restrictions. Under the new schedule, Whitmer plans to speed up the “Vacc to Normal” plan by providing deadlines for existing restrictions. This news comes following the recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that allows unvaccinated people to stop wearing masks in certain situations.

The revisions to the re-opening plan are identified below:

Mask Restrictions

Last week the CDC released new guidance on masks, stating that “fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”

Governor Whitmer followed suit and adjusted Michigan’s mask policy to match the CDC’s recommendation. Now, fully vaccinated people in Michigan no longer need to wear a mask outdoors or indoors unless required by their work or business.

June 1

Governor Whitmer also announced that as of June 1, 2021, there will no longer be restrictions on outdoor gatherings and indoor capacity limits will rise to 50 percent. Any indoor businesses now limited to less than 50 percent, like gyms and entertainment venues, will rise to 50 percent capacity. Conference, wedding and event spaces will also be permitted to increase their capacity to 50 percent starting June 1.

However, Governor Whitmer emphasized that people who are not yet fully vaccinated are still required to continue to wear masks when they are indoors.

July 1

Finally, Governor Whitmer announced that by July 1, nearly all aspects of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Service’s Gatherings and Face Mask Order will end. However, businesses have the right to require masks beyond that day. Whitmer emphasized that Michigan will take its final steps in COVID-19 mitigation measures unless “unanticipated circumstances arise.”

Updated MIOSHA Guidance Anticipated

In her address, Governor Whitmer advised that the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) will issue guidance on the re-opening plan on Monday, May 24, 2020.  In addition, on Thursday, May 20, Governor Whitmer announced that MIOSHA will withdraw its proposed permanent COVID-19 rules as part of a bipartisan agreement with the state legislature.

Varnum will continue to monitor these developments and provide updates. Please contact your Varnum attorney to learn more about how the planned re-opening may affect your business.

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