(WXYZ) — The president and CEO of the Michigan Retailers Association says retailers are "frustrated" that the onus of mask policing is put on them, rather than law enforcement.
"While retailers and retail employees appreciate Gov. Whitmer’s efforts to increase the number of residents wearing masks when in enclosed, public spaces, we are frustrated that she did not leave the policing to law enforcement officers," Bill Hallan said.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order that requires people to wear face masks whenever in an indoor public space and in crowded outdoor spaces. The order strengthens her previous order on masks.
"This puts retail employees in potentially dangerous situations when they’re forced to confront unmasked customers," he said.
Those who are exempt include people who are younger than 5 years old, those who can't medically tolerate a face covering and those who are eating or drinking while seated at a restaurant.
Hallan says determining the validity of an ambiguous exception is an "impossible" task for a retailer.
"We worry for retail employees’ safety and disagree with the overly aggressive penalties for retailers. When shopping, please wear a mask and understand that retailers are not to blame for the state’s mask requirement. Shopping has proven to be a safe activity, we can keep it safe and retail doors open by wearing a mask and being respectful of others."
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