WILMINGTON – Governor Roy Cooper announced earlier this week the state was ready to move into a modified phase two for reopening, although he emphasized that the state requirements were a minimum, and that local government could impose its own restrictions. On Friday morning, City of Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo did just that.
The Governor’s order made it so restaurants and other businesses could reopen at a lower capacity, but kept some businesses closed (like bars and gyms).
Saffo reiterated that the decisions the city has made are coming directly from health officials as the health and safety are of the utmost importance for the city.
The City of Wilmington is not adding too much more to its own orders, however, there are a few additional restrictions the city will have in place.
One of the more significant changes that the city put in place to slow the spread of Covid-19 was a ban on hotels and motels. That’s because Wilmington, as everyone knows, is a tourist destination and the idea was to limit the number of people fleeing large cities to have an extended stay at the coast.
In an effort to curb the number of people in Wilmington, the Mayor announced that hotels and motels in the city limits can now operate at 50%.
Outdoor exercise stations are still closed and indoor team sports facilities are still prohibited, however, the city is allowing up to five on five for team sports outdoors.
Dressing rooms are permitted to be open once again, however, all clothing must be taken off the retail floor for one day, or must be sanitized before being put back out, Saffo said.
As far as the closure of gyms and bars, Saffo said he understands their concerns and how ‘frustrated and angry’ they are, but it is up to the Governor to make that decision.
The last thing we want to do is go back to a lockdown, Saffo said.