North Carolina to make “careful step" toward Phase 2 of reopening

Governor Cooper announces phase 2

RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - Restaurants and salons will be able to open at a limited capacity while bars and gyms will remain closed as North Carolina will take a more “careful” step toward Phase Two of Governor Roy Cooper’s reopening plan Friday.

Cooper made the long-awaited announcement during a news conference Wednesday evening.

“Two weeks after we announced Phase 1, North Carolina’s combination of trends and indicators remain stable overall. Because the data shows that we can, North Carolina will move into Safer At Home Phase 2 on Friday, May 22 at 5 pm.,” Cooper said. “Phase 2 is another careful step forward. Since we announced Phase 1, the state’s overall key indicators remain stable. However, the increases in COVID-19 cases signal a need to take a more modest step forward in Phase 2 than originally envisioned."

As part of Phase 2, the following businesses will be allowed to open starting at 5 p.m. Friday under certain requirements:

  • Restaurants can re-open for dine-in customers at mostly a 50% capacity, with distancing and cleaning requirements.
  • Personal care businesses like salons and barbers can also re-open at 50% capacity. These businesses will have face covering and cleaning requirements while also reducing the number of people in the waiting areas.
  • Swimming pools will be able to open at 50% capacity.
  • Overnight & day camps can open with safety rules.
  • Childcare facilities remain open and are now able to enroll all children.

The mass gathering limits in Phase 2 will now be no more than 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors.

The mass gathering limit does not apply to worship, religious, and spiritual gatherings, funerals or weddings ceremonies, but individuals are encouraged to follow social distancing guidelines and to follow the Three Ws to reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19. The mass gathering limit will still apply to visitation and reception before or after funeral and wedding ceremonies.

Cooper said the following businesses will remain closed: bars, night clubs, gyms, indoor fitness facilities, and indoor entertainment venues such as movie theaters, bowling alleys and public playgrounds.

“This is because the spread of COVID-19 can be significant there,” Cooper said.

“I’d ask us all to be patient and understanding of the frontline heroes who are running cash registers, driving delivery routes, and helping customers. Especially those businesses that will just be opening this weekend,” Cooper said. “Not every restaurant and salon will be able to open Friday evening and some may choose not to open at all. Show them the courtesy of patience as they weigh how best to serve their customers and stay safe. We owe that to them.

“Let’s keep looking out for our neighbors, thanking our frontline workers, getting some fresh air when we can and working together to defeat this virus.”

See the NCDHHS Frequently Asked Questions for details of Executive Order No. 141, Phase 2 May 20, 2020.

HAPPENING NOW: Gov. Roy Cooper is expected to discuss Phase 2 of reopening.

Posted by WECT News on Wednesday, May 20, 2020

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