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Motorboats, jet skis prohibited under Michigan's stay at home order

The revised version of the order says kayaking, canoeing and sailing remain permissible, but motorized watercraft are barred.
Credit: WZZM
A boat cruises the Grand River in Ottawa County's Riverside Park Friday.

LANSING, Mich. — Under Michigan's revised and updated stay at home order, the use of a motorboat, jet ski or "similar watercraft" is not allowed. 

Whitmer re-issued a Stay Home, Stay Safe order on Thursday, April 9 that requires Michiganders to stay home except for doing life sustaining, essential activities like getting groceries or seeking health care.

This order lasts until May 1. 

One exception to this order is that Michigan residents can leave their homes for physical outdoor activities. The revised version of this order says kayaking, canoeing and sailing remain permissible, but motorized watercraft are barred.

The state says that the DNR has received many reports about the "heavy use of boat launch across the state," which also resulted in people congregating and violating social distancing at the launches. It also says that motorized boating, in particular, required people to get additional supplies like parts and gasoline. 

Read the executive order here

"The hope is that the prohibition on the use of motorized watercraft will reduce the movement of, and contact among, people with the intent of slowing the spread of the coronavirus," the state says on its website

For people who are using non-motorized boats, social distancing measures must still be followed and they are not allowed to boat with people outside their household. Long distance travel is also prohibited, so boating must happen locally. 

In a press conference on Thursday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer emphasized that she is keeping exceptions to the stay at order order a small list. 

"It's important to remember that we are all in this together. That creating all sorts of exceptions for what is going to last for three more weeks--is what this stay at home order is. Every exception we make makes it porous and less likely to be successful," Whitmer said. 

"We know that these tactics work."

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