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Mask enforcement falling on businesses

Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 5:28 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Some business owners are worried that big scenes or outbursts from customers will become a lot more common under Michigan’s new mask law.

That’s because enforcement of the policy now first falls on their shoulders.

It says everyone has to wear a mask in public indoor places.

The same goes for crowded outdoor public places.

Refusing to follow the rules can get you fined $500.

Some businesses like Insty-Prints in downtown Lansing say Friday’s executive order requiring mask to be worn at public indoor places was helpful in clarifying specifics.

“It makes it clearer that every public place you will have to wear a mask so we will all be doing the same thing,” said Mike Bruce, the owner of Insty-Prints.

Bruce says they have been requiring masks from their customers since May 11th, and that this new order provides better enforcement.

“We have had people come in without it and we will give them a mask, but no one has ever refused to wear a mask,” said Bruce.

That is where the Michigan Retailers Association is concerned.

Although they understand the importance of wearing a mask, they are frustrated that this new order puts an enforcement responsibility on business owners.

“That’s not their job, they are not trained to do that,” said Amy Drumm, of the Michigan Retailers Association. “We are concerned that they will be put in dangerous situations with unruly customers who are frustrated about the order and take out on the retail employee instead of on the government.”

The Michigan Licensed Beverage Association is all for the new mask rules.

It released a statement saying the order addresses the number-one complaint from its members -- and will level the playing field for all businesses.

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