News Story

Proposed Michigan COVID Rule Forbids Leaving Shows Or Stadiums Before Getting Permission

‘Safe exit’ procedures raise many questions

When governments impose finely detailed rules to restrict individuals’ behavior, those rules often come with unintended consequences.

That seems to apply to the draft of COVID-19 workplace safety rules created by the Whitmer administration, which the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposes to make permanent.

The draft states that patrons of sporting events and entertainment venues may not leave the event until dismissed by the venue’s managers. The administration calls this a “safe exit” procedure.

The proposed rule parenthetically defines “safe exit” this way: “(e.g., dismiss groups based on ticket number, row).”

The implication is that fans at sporting events could not leave until the venue gives them permission, through a procedure it develops.

This leaves many questions. Could the Detroit Tigers could be sanctioned by the state if fans leave a game early? Or, would DTE Energy’s Music Theatre be fined if concert-goers skip out on a performance before the music stops?

Michigan Capitol Confidential asked MIOSHA if businesses would have to require their customers to wear face masks. A spokeswoman said in an email, “Yes, masks are mandated. These rules were adopted on October 14, 2020.”

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.