LANSING, Mich. — Michigan is now in the early hours of the newest executive order issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Starting Monday, Michigan’s mask order is getting stricter and disobeying the order comes with greater consequences.
Whitmer’s order requires people to wear a face-covering or mask whenever they are in an indoor public space. That applies to places like retail shops, grocery stores and restaurants.
The order also requires people to wear a face-covering in crowded outdoor spots. But perhaps the largest change centers around businesses. Businesses now have to refuse entry and service to people who won’t wear a mask, with a few exceptions.
The order states a $500 fine can be handed out to the customer or the business if the order isn’t followed.
Another aspect of the order is how businesses are going to enforce the rule. Will workers be comfortable with confronting customers who aren’t wearing their masks? The owner of Crunchy’s in East Lansing, Michael Krueger, thinks this newest executive order is actually helpful for businesses.
“We’ve been doing it already, previous to the order,” Krueger said. “But now it’s nice to see that it’s going to be statewide and all businesses need to abide by it now. It gives it a little more teeth so that we can let people know this is actually an executive order. It’s not just our policy, it’s everybody’s policy.”
The manager of Pitaya in East Lansing said she won’t tolerate customers who come without a mask.
“If they don’t want to help keep us safe then we don’t need them around,” Julie Osound said.
Osound said she has disposable face masks available for customers who don’t have a mask.
East Lansing residents said they are onboard with the governor’s latest executive order.
”I feel that it’s really important for us to wear masks,” Avery Powell said. “I feel like we should’ve been wearing masks indoors this whole time and outdoors too.”
Although some East Lansing residents are in favor of the new order, one couple in St. Johns is not.
Charlie Frederick said he will shop online instead of in-store to avoid wearing a mask.
“If I have to get my groceries, online order,” Frederick said. “If I’m going out to eat I don’t have a problem wearing it from point A to point B. Five minutes isn’t going to kill me. Half hour, hour, two hours where I can feel the effects of that dizziness, headaches, fatigue from not normal activity, yeah there is a problem with that.”
As far as enforcement of the new rules, there isn’t much detail in the executive order. Whitmer said on Thursday she expected and hoped that local officials would be active in enforcement.
None of the previous executive orders had specific penalties for violations.
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