Movie Theaters Are Allowed to Reopen in Michigan

Plus, Gov. Whitmer strengthens mask requirements in schools
movie theaters michigan
Under a new executive order, movie theaters across the state (like Emagine Palladium, pictured above) will be allowed to reopen. // Photograph by Emma Klug

Missing nights out at the cinema? We’ve got good news for you. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today signed an executive order that allows movie theaters and a number of other venues and attractions to reopen in the state starting next month.

Businesses that can reopen — with some restrictions — on Oct. 9 include indoor theaters, cinemas, performance venues, arcades, bingo halls, indoor climbing facilities, and trampoline parks, water parks, and other recreation and entertainment venues.

“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,” says Whitmer. “As a result, we are now able to reopen movie theaters and performance venues with strict safety measures in place.”

The executive order also increases limits on mass gatherings in all of Michigan’s regions. Non-residential indoor gatherings and events may raise their attendance limit from 10 people to 20 people per 1,000 square feet, which is 20 percent capacity. Face masks are required. Meanwhile, non-residential outdoor gatherings, which have been able to take place with a limit of 100 people total, are now limited to 30 people per 1,000 square feet — or 30 percent capacity. In regions 6 and 8 — which encompasses northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula — non-residential indoor venues may operate at 25 percent capacity.

However, while the state is easing up on some restrictions, Whitmer says we are “not out of the woods” yet and the state must continue fighting the virus. Under a separate executive order, also signed by Whitmer today, kindergarten through fifth grade students in regions 1-5 and 7 will be required to wear a face covering at school. Previously, it was recommended that these students wear a face mask but it was not required.

“With the 2020-2021 flu season approaching, we are in a precarious moment in our fight against COVID-19,” says Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for Health at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “This new mask requirement is so important to protect students and educators, and to keep our schools open.

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