Movie theaters and other entertainment venues can reopen starting Oct. 9 under the latest order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and larger gatherings are allowed to take place.
Indoor theaters, cinemas, performance venues, arcades, bingo halls, bowling centers, indoor climbing facilities and trampoline parks are among the facilities that have been closed in much of Michigan and will be allowed to reopen under the latest order.
“Michigan took some of the most aggressive action against COVID-19 in the country, and as a result, the health of our families and our economy are faring better than our neighbors in other states,” Whitmer announced. “As a result, we are now able to reopen movie theaters and performance venues with strict safety measures in place.
“I know these business owners have made incredible sacrifices during this crisis to protect our families and frontline workers, and my administration will continue working to help them get back on their feet.”
It’s welcome news to some venue owners, who have reported lost revenue after being closed for nearly six months.
“We applaud the governor’s strong leadership during this time and appreciate the guidance she has provided,” said JD Loeks, President of Studio C, Parent Company of Celebration Cinema, in a press release from the governor’s office.
“Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our employees, patrons, and their families. We are eager to reopen our doors with strict safety measures in place and look forward to working closely with the governor and her team as we continue to fight this virus.”
Related: Michigan, State theaters still in limbo on opening, have lost more than $1M due to coronavirus
The governor also revised limits on indoor social gatherings, which are currently limited to 10 people. The new limits take into account how large the space is. For non-residential indoor gatherings:
In the southern part of the state, non-residential indoor gatherings of up to 20 people per 1,000 square feet or 20% of a room’s fixed seating capacity are allowed, providing attendees wear face coverings.
The maximum gathering is 500 people.
Outdoor gatherings can have 30 people per 1,000 square feet or 30% of a space’s fixed seating capacity with a maximum of 1,000 people.
In regions six and eight, northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, non-residential indoor gatherings of 25 people per 1,000 square feet or 25% of a room’s fixed seating capacity are allowed. The rules for outdoor gatherings are the same as in the southern part of the state.
Related: ‘You can’t turn the lights on for 10 people:’ Banquet halls sit idle, waiting for changes in coronavirus restrictions
Also on Friday, the governor signed an order requiring K-5 students to wear masks in classrooms.
COVID-19 PREVENTION TIPS:
In addition to washing hands regularly and not touching your face, officials recommend practicing social distancing, assuming anyone may be carrying the virus.
Health officials say you should be staying at least 6 feet away from others and working from home, if possible.
Use disinfecting wipes or disinfecting spray cleaners on frequently-touched surfaces in your home (door handles, faucets, countertops) and carry hand sanitizer with you when you go into places like stores.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has also issued executive orders requiring people to wear face coverings over their mouth and nosewhile in public indoor and crowded outdoor spaces. See an explanation of what that means here.
Additional information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.
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