Tuesday, June 25, 2024

N.C. will move into Phase 2.5 Friday, bars ordered to stay closed [Free]

Bars and other indoor entertainment spaces will remain closed as North Carolina moves into phase 2.5 Friday. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Governor Roy Cooper)
Bars and other indoor entertainment spaces will remain closed as North Carolina moves into phase 2.5 Friday. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Governor Roy Cooper)

NORTH CAROLINA — This Friday, N.C. will move into “phase 2.5” of pandemic recovery. Governor Roy Cooper announced several key changes to Covid-19 restrictions Thursday, lifting the months-long ban on gyms, allowing indoor exercise facilities to reopen at 30% capacity.

The new restrictions will be in place until October 2, replacing the original end of Phase 2 which was set for September 11. You can find Executive Order 163 here.

Mass gathering limitations will increase from 10 to 25 people indoors and from 25 to 50 people outdoors. Public playgrounds, closed for months during the pandemic, will be permitted to open. Museums and aquariums will be permitted to open at 50% capacity.

According to Cooper’s office, “gyms and indoor exercise facilities” including yoga studios, martial arts, and rock climbing, as well as skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor basketball, volleyball courts, and other similar facilities may also open at 30% capacity. 

Bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, indoor entertainment venues, and amusement parks will remain closed.

Currently, the standing mask mandate does not apply to children younger than 11. Cooper’s phase 2.5 rules will lower the age of those required to wear masks to five years old in public settings where social distancing is difficult.

Capacity limits in restaurants and personal care businesses will remain the same.

Phase 2.5 will go into effect at 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4. Separately, Cooper extended the 11 p.m. alcohol sale curfew through Oct. 2.


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