Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer expanded her state’s “stay home” order on Thursday, this time banning all travel between residences in the state, aside from a few specific exceptions.
The newly expanded order, which lasts until May 1, now prohibits Michigan residents from traveling between homes in the state unless caring for another individual or pet, visiting a nursing home or healthcare facility, attending a funeral or a court-ordered child custody appearance.
“After [April 10, 2020], travel between two residences is not permitted,” the order states. “All other travel is prohibited.”
“Subject to the exceptions in section 7 of this order, all individuals currently living within the State of Michigan are ordered to stay at home or at their place of residence. Subject to the same exceptions, all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring among persons not part of a single household are prohibited,” the order adds.
Those who willfully violate Whitmer’s order face a misdemeanor. The least severe misdemeanors in Michigan are punishable by up to 93 days in jail.
“This order must be construed broadly to prohibit in-person work that is not necessary to sustain or protect life,” the order says.
“Michigan has the third highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country, and we’re still on the upswing. We must continue to do everything we can to slow the spread and protect our families,” said Whitmer.
“Data shows that most Michiganders are doing their part by staying home and staying safe. That’s good, but we must keep it up. … Now more than ever, it’s crucial that people stay home and stay safe.”
Although the order remains in effect for the rest of April, Whitmer warned the state may not be in the clear by then.
“This doesn’t mean everything will go back to normal on May 1,” Whitmer said. “But based on the data we have right now, this is the appropriate window for an extension. It will take time to safely and responsibly re-open the economy, which is why we will continue to provide critical unemployment support and assistance to our small businesses during this challenging time. We will get through this if we all continue to do our part.”
Michigan residents are still allowed to leave their home for essential shopping and services, exercise, and essential work, but must abide by the six-feet social distancing rules.