Michigan Loosens COVID-19 Workplace Mask, Distancing Rules
May 24, 2021
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday loosened COVID-19 workplace safety rules so fully vaccinated employees can go without a mask and disregard distancing requirements.
Industry-specific regulations were rescinded. Restaurants and bars, for instance, can reopen pool tables and dance floors. Cleaning standards were softened.
As expected, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration also lifted a requirement that employers prohibit onsite work if employees’ jobs can be done remotely — clearing the way for a return to offices.
“The law no longer requires remote work,” the Democratic governor said during a news conference at furniture manufacturer Steelcase in Grand Rapids. “I want to thank the employers who are taking this seriously and working with their employees to navigate things like child care and the work-life balance and ongoing personal health concerns.”
The revised emergency regulations will expire in October. Employers must continue to have a written coronavirus preparedness and response plan, and conduct a daily entry self-screening protocol for all entering employees or contractors. Records must be kept for six months.
Employers must require unvaccinated workers to wear face coverings when they cannot consistently maintain 6 feet of separation.