Gov. Cooper lifts curfew, eases some pandemic restrictions. What it means for you.

With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in decline, Governor Roy Cooper said his office will lift the statewide 10:00 p.m. curfew established in December to slow the spread of the virus.

Cooper’s latest executive order will also allow for bars, night clubs, movie theaters and sports arenas to increase their capacity.

“Today’s action is a show of confidence and trust, but we must remain cautious,” said Cooper.”People are losing their loved ones each day. We must keep up our guard.”

Here’s how Executive Order No. 195 would impact local businesses:

30% Capacity Limit (may not exceed 250-persons in indoor spaces)

  • Bars
  • Meeting, Reception, and Conference Spaces
  • Lounges (including tobacco) and Night Clubs
  • Indoor areas of Amusement Parks
  • Movie Theatres
  • Entertainment facilities (e.g., bingo parlors, gaming establishments)
  • Sports Arenas and Fields*
  • Venues

50% Capacity Limit

  • Restaurants
  • Breweries, Wineries, Distilleries
  • Fitness and Physical Activity Facilities (e.g., gyms, bowling alleys, rock climbing facilities
  • Pools
  • Museums and Aquariums
  • Retailers
  • Outdoor areas of Amusement Parks
  • Salons, Personal Care, Tattoo Parlors

Read the full 27-page Executive Order easing restrictions here.

Masks or face coverings remains a requirement in public places, both indoors and outdoors. Employers would have a ‘good faith obligation’ to provide a one­-week supply of reusable face coverings or disposable masks to workers who perform work outside of their home.

Still state officials are encouraging many employers to allow remote work to continue.

“We would encourage folks who can be working remotely to continue to do that,” cautioned North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen.

“We’re certainly heading in the right direction, and that is reflected in the easing of these restrictions, but remember as we ease them, we are still keeping capacity limits.”

Sec. Cohen said it is the right time to take this step forward, but if the numbers rise again and people backslide on their commitment to practice social distancing and proper mask wearing, the state could reverse course.

Both Cohen and Cooper said they were encouraged that two million doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine have been administered to North Carolinians in recent weeks.

To date, 1.2 million individuals have received one dose of the vaccine, more than 730,000 have gotten both doses.

Wednesday also marked the first day that North Carolina teachers and daycare center workers could get  vaccinated.

Dr. Cohen believes that if the Johnson & Johnson vaccine receives federal approval this week as many expect, the state could receive 30,000-60,000 additional doses of that vaccine in an initial shipment.

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