RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - As the state prepared for Phase 2 of its reopening Friday, Gov. Roy Cooper introduced Count on Me NC, an effort to provide customers with confidence that restaurants are following North Carolina guidelines.
“Restaurants are a major part of our economy, and this virus has been tough on them,” Cooper said. "As we enter Phase 2, I appreciate that restaurant owners across the state are focused on how to keep customers and employees safe. They know that strong safety precautions will be good business.
“As far as we know, it’s among the first of its kind in the country. I’m proud that North Carolina is leading the way on safety and best practices.”
Cooper said Count on Me is a free online training that is “focused on advanced cleaning, disinfection, social distancing and hygiene practices to better protect the public and employees from exposure to COVID-19.”
“When completing the course, restaurants and businesses will have a sign in the window and a logo for the website to show their commitment to using new safety protocols. You may see your server wearing a Count on Me pin or name tag if you go into a restaurant this weekend.," he said.
Cooper urged North Carolinians to follow social distancing guidelines as they celebrate Memorial Day on Monday.
“I know it’s also a popular weekend for cookouts and parties. Especially this year when we’ve been more socially isolated, the desire to gather with friends and family is really strong. I want you to have a great time, but continue using caution,” Cooper said. "I urge all North Carolinians to take the COVID-19 restrictions and safety rules seriously. Keep gatherings to under 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors.
“And remember the Three Ws – wear a face covering, wait six feet apart from other people and wash your hands frequently.”
On Wednesday, Cooper announced that Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan would begin at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 22.
As part of Phase 2, the following businesses will be allowed to open 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.
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.