Gov. Whitmer announces reopening of movie theaters, small venues, bowling alleys


  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's office

Does this mean we can finally see Tenet on the big screen?

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced Friday that she had signed an executive order that would allow movie theaters, small performance venues, arcades, bowling alleys, indoor climbing gyms, and a number of other businesses that had previously remained closed due to COVID-19 to reopen on Oct. 9.

The new order eases capacity restrictions depending on venue size for both indoor and outdoor activities, including weddings, funerals, and performances.

“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 said in a press release.

“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.”

Previously, indoor events and gatherings were limited to just 10 people. Under the new order, however, these activities still require faces masks but are now limited to 20 people per 1,000 square feet or 20% of fixed seating capacity, maxing out at 500 in larger venues. Outdoor gatherings are expanding from just 100 people to 30 people per 1,000 square feet or 30% of fixed seating capacity, maxing out at 1,000 people.

Though she loosened restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings, Whitmer also took an opportunity to tighten requirements for students attending in-person classes.

Per a new order, which pertains to all of Michigan except for the northernmost regions, masks are now required to be worn by students from kindergarten to 5th grade. Prior to this order, only 6-12 graders were required to wear face coverings. The new requirement will help protect students and faculty against not only the coronavirus as well as protect against the impending and precarious flu season.

“This new mask requirement is so important to protect students and educators, and to keep our schools open,” Chief Medical Executive and MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said in a statement. “This year, it’s more important than ever that Michiganders across the state get their flu vaccine as soon as possible, mask up, and maintain at least six feet of physical distancing. Let’s all be smart and stay safe.”

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