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NC Governor eases restrictions, bars can open, but mask mandate remains

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The mask mandate is not about to change in North Carolina.  But as Covid metrics are declining on all fronts, and Governor Roy Cooper is ready to ease some restrictions.  


The modified stay at home order expires on Friday, February 26th and that means no more curfew.  A new Executive Order goes into effect that same day.


The main changes with the Order? Bars, taverns, movie theaters and other indoor businesses can open at 30% capacity for the first time since the pandemic started. 


Some businesses and venues will be able to stay at or expand to 50% occupancy.   


"For example, gyms, museums, aquariums, barbers, other personal care, pools, outdoor amusement parks, retail establishments, restaurants, breweries and wineries…"


Some businesses that were limited to operating outdoors at 30% will still have to keep that restriction but will no longer have a 100-person cap. 


"That includes outdoor sports fields and venues, stadiums, outdoor bars, outdoor amusement parks, and other outdoor businesses."


An exception for larger indoor arenas will allow most college and professional sports venues to open for fans at 15% capacity.  


Onsite alcohol sales will have to end at 11 pm across the board. 


Officials say those businesses that can continue to keep their employees working remotely should stick with that arrangement. 


To read Executive Order 195, follow this link: