LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — The state of Michigan is relaxing coronavirus restrictions for outdoor activities as more become vaccinated, lifting face mask requirements for outdoor gatherings of less than 100 people.
The newest order will go into effect May 6 and will continue through May 31, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday.
MDHHS says the announcement comes as the weather is warming up, opening opportunities to be outdoors. Those who are fully vaccinated and not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms will not be required to wear masks at residential gatherings indoors.
For organized sports, routine COVID-19 testing will not be required for those fully vaccinated and aren’t experiencing symptoms. Masks will still be required for contact sports. But they won’t be required for non-contact sports during outdoor practices or competitions. The state used an example of softball and baseball players still needing to wear masks when in the dugout but not when playing in the field.
“The commitment by Michiganders to receive the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is allowing us to move toward a return to normal,” MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel said in a statement. “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.”
People who are not yet fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask when around others not from their household.
As of Tuesday, 39.3% of Michigan residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated for the virus, according to the state, and 50.6% have received at least one dose.