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On July 30, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-160, the Amended Safe Start Order, further restricting indoor and outdoor gathering sizes, re-closing overnight camp, and requiring remote work when possible. However, the Order also re-opens previously closed sectors of the economy such as public pools, outdoor training, classes, and games.
INDOOR AND OUTDOOR GATHERING LIMITATIONS STATEWIDE
The Order rolls back previous upper limits on indoor social gatherings from no more than 50 people to, now, no more than 10 people. This Order only applies to “social gatherings” of 10 people, meaning people who wish to purposely gather together in order to socialize. The Order specifically defines a social gathering as “an organized event among persons not part of the same household.” Six-feet social distancing requirements also remain in place, of course.
This Order does not prohibit more than 10 people from inadvertently being in one area, or gathering in an area, such as in a waiting room or waiting to enter an establishment, though social distancing precautions should be taken in such instances. In fact, the Order explicitly states that the 10-person cap does not apply to the “incidental gathering of persons in a shared space,” including an airport, bus station, factory floor, restaurant, shopping mall, public pool, or workplace.
Outdoor gatherings are still restricted to 100 people, except in Regions 6 and 8, where outdoor gatherings of up to 250 people are permissible. Social distancing guidelines, such as maintaining six feet of distance between households, should be maintained even at outdoor gatherings.
Whether the gathering or activity is indoor or outdoor, the Order reminds that it is each individual’s responsibility to comply with social distancing to the extent feasible and comply with mask requirements as outlined by Executive Order 2020-153 or subsequent related orders.
REMOTE WORK NOW REQUIRED WHERE POSSIBLE
Rescinding EO 2020-115, which stated that office work that can be performed remotely should be performed remotely, this Order now dictates that all work that can be performed remotely must be performed remotely.
POOLS RE-OPEN, BUT OVERNIGHT CAMPS CLOSE AGAIN
Public swimming pools may open—subject to certain requirements. A public swimming pool is any pool “used collectively by a number of individuals primarily for the purpose of swimming, wading, recreation, or instruction.”
Under this Order, all outdoor pools must limit capacity to 50% of the bather capacity limits. Indoor pools in Regions 6 or 8 must limit their capacity to 25% of the bather capacity limits. Indoor pools outside Regions 6 or 8 can open only for infant and child drowning prevention classes and still must limit their capacity to 25%.
All pools must work to ensure that persons not part of the same household maintain six feet of distance from one another.
This Order rescinds Executive Order 2020-120, which allowed all overnight camps to open. Now, overnight camps must follow the guidelines applicable to the Region in which they are located. For the majority of Michigan, with the exception of Regions 6 and 8, this means that overnight camps must close.
PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS RESTRICTIONS ON CINEMAS, INDOOR GYMS, AMUSEMENT FACILITIES, ETC. STILL CLOSED
This Order continues the closure of indoor theaters, bowling alleys, climbing facilities, arcades cinemas, and performance venues, as well as indoor gyms, and “amusement facilities” such as waterparks and amusement parks.
However, in Regions 6 and 8 an indoor arcade, bowling alley, cinema, climbing facility, convention center, performance space, meeting hall, sports arena, theater, or similar indoor venue may open, but only to the extent that it:
- Arranges the venue such that persons not part of the same household may maintain six feet of distance from one another at all times while in the venue; and
- Limits the number of people in the venue to 25% of its maximum capacity or to 250, whichever is smaller. For purposes of this order, each separate auditorium or screening room is a separate venue.
A FEW NOTES ON THIS ORDER
The Order does permit outdoor fitness classes, athletic classes, training sessions, and games to resume, so long as six feet of distance is maintained between households and, where possible between the players or participants. Any and all equipment used by the participants must be frequently and thoroughly disinfected and cleaned. This opens the door for clubs, sports organizations, and sports day camps to resume training and practices, subject to those restrictions.
This Order also restates the prior liquor license restrictions and suspensions. That information remains unchanged from the prior Order.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have additional questions about how Executive Order 2020-160 impacts you. Our dedicated team is continuing to monitor the situation as it develops.
This communication is not intended to constitute legal advice. Since the emergency regulations and guidelines are evolving rapidly and each of your circumstances are unique, we encourage you to reach out to us if you have questions about how this or other COVID-19 related government action.
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