Here are the 5 exceptions to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 mask rules

Whitmer strengthens Michigan mask regulations


LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer strengthened her mask rules Friday, but she also revealed the five exceptions that would allow someone to be inside businesses or public places without a mask.

Here are the five exceptions to Whitmer’s face covering rules:

1. Children younger than five years old

Children who are younger than five years old don’t have to follow the Michigan mask rules.

2. People who cannot medically tolerate a face covering

Anyone who cannot medically tolerate a face covering is not required to wear one.

Businesses can no longer assume customers without face coverings have medical justification for doing so.

Now, they must get verbal confirmation from unmasked customers that they have medical reasons for entering without a mask.

3. People eating or drinking while seated at restaurants

Customers who are eating or drinking while seated at their table at a food service establishment can take their masks off, Whitmer said.

Everyone must wear a mask while entering, exiting or walking around the restaurant.

4. People exercising in way that face covering would interfere

Someone who is exercising in a way that wearing a mask would interfere with that exercise is not required to wear it during that exercise.

5. Voting in election

Residents who go to a polling place for the purpose of voting in an election don’t have to wear masks.

Mask order update

Executive Order 2020-153 clarified Whitmer’s previous mask order. In addition to residents being required to wear masks in indoor public places and crowded outdoor areas, public safety officers must wear masks and businesses must ask unmasked customers if they have medical justification for being without a mask.

The order says public safety officers have to wear face coverings unless that would seriously interfere with doing their jobs.

“Wearing a mask is the right thing to do to protect our families, our businesses and our economy,” Whitmer said. “If everyone in Michigan masks up, we can save thousands of lives and put ourselves in a better position to send our kids back to school in the fall. For the safety of our loved ones and our dedicated first responders on the front lines, mask up, Michigan.”

Over the past two weeks, every region in Michigan has seen an uptick in new coronavirus cases, and daily case counts now exceed 20 cases per million in all but one region in the state.

More coverage

Here’s much more recent coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whitmer’s handling of pandemic:

Reopening Michigan:

Health questions, advice:



Individual stories:


About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.