LANSING, Mich. — The mask mandate has been lifted on outdoor gatherings of 100 people or less, according to Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Under the new order, which goes into effect Thursday and stays in effect through the month of May, masks are generally not required outdoors unless a gathering has 100 or more people.
In addition, anyone who is fully vaccinated and not experiencing symptoms is not required to wear a mask at residential gatherings, including indoors.
Masks continue to be required for contact sports but are no longer required outdoors during active practice and competition for non-contact sports.
“The commitment by Michiganders to receive the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is allowing us to move toward a return to normal,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “The vaccines work. That means once Michiganders are fully vaccinated, they do not have to abide by as many health guidelines because of the protection the vaccine provides from the spread of the virus. Last week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer launched the MI Vacc to Normal plan to set vaccine milestones to enable a return toward normalcy. This week we are taking further steps in that direction.”
A local business FOX17 spoke to, Distinctive Catering, says it will be nice not to worry about asking people to wear a mask outside and the company hopes large outdoor events being allowed to exceed the 1,000 person limit leads to more events which would require their service. The Wyoming-based business would still like indoor capacity limits to be lifted.
"It's a step in the right direction," said Tom Doyle, owner. "Is it going to change the world for us? No, because as I mentioned to you, we can't control anything other than ourselves."
The company says hiring will be key to re-engaging the economy, with many businesses struggling to do so. Distinctive Catering has increased its pay by 30 percent to $16 per hour. To find a job, visit the company's website by clicking here.
To date, 39.3% of Michigan residents 16 and older had been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and 50.6% had received at least a first dose.