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Effective immediately, North Carolina has lifted all mandatory capacity, gathering limits, social distancing requirements and easing most mask requirements.
Gov. Roy Cooper made the announcement Friday afternoon, and the changes went into effect immediately.
“We can take this step today because the science shows our focus on getting people vaccinated is working,” Cooper said. “But to keep moving forward – and to make sure that we keep saving lives – more people need to get vaccinated.”
In a major step toward returning to pre-pandemic life, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people on Thursday, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.
The CDC's guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters but it will help clear the way for reopening workplaces, schools, and other venues — even removing the need for social distancing for those who are fully vaccinated.
Businesses can also make decisions on whether to mandate masks in their spaces among those who are vaccinated.
“Today is a great day for America,” President Joe Biden said during a Rose Garden address heralding the new guidance.
The president then went to Twitter, and tweeted, "The rule is now simple: get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do. The choice is yours."
Gov. Roy Cooper signed Executive Order No. 209 outlining safety measures for the month of May that will ease outdoor mask mandates and mass gathering limits.
The executive order will take effect Friday, April 30 and expire on June 1. With more North Carolinians getting vaccinated and following safety protocols over the course of the next month, the state anticipates relaxing even more restrictions on June 1.
Under the new executive order, masks will still be required indoors but not outdoors. Masks are still strongly recommended outdoors by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services when in crowded areas and higher risk settings where social distancing is difficult.
The executive order will also increase mass gathering capacity limits with the number of people who may gather indoors increasing from 50 to 100, and the number of people who may gather outdoors increasing from 100 to 200. However, current occupancy limits will remain the same.
State health officials are continuing to monitor Covid-19 and its more contagious variants. Officials continue to stress the importance of following the state’s mask mandate and the three Ws — wear a mask, wait six feet apart and wash hands often.
New Executive Order Eases Restrictions
- Museums, aquariums, retail businesses and shops, barbers/salons/personal care shops can open at 100 percent capacity.
- Restaurants, breweries and wineries, amusement parks, gyms, and pools can open at 75 percent capacity.
- Bars, sports arena, and other live performance venues can open at 50 percent capacity.
- Mass gathering limit, which covers other kinds of gatherings not otherwise laid out in the order, will be increased to 50 indoors and 100 outdoors
New Executive Order Eases Restrictions
WHAT’S CHANGING: The order lifts the state's modified stay at home order starting this Friday, February 26 at 5pm.
▪️ Alcohol sales are extended two hours from 9pm to 11pm.
▪️ The 10pm curfew is lifted starting Friday.
▪️ Bars can have up to 30% occupancy indoors, allowing bars without patios space to officially reopen.
▪️ Indoor venues with 5,000+ seats can have 15% occupancy.
▪️ Gyms, museums, aquariums, barbers, pools and outdoor amusement parks may open at 50% capacity.
▪️ The mass gathering limit is expanded to 25 indoors and 50 outdoors.
WHAT’S NOT CHANGING:
▪️ The statewide mask mandate is still in place.
▪️ Restaurants and breweries remain at 50% capacity.
WHY NOW: Coronavirus trends have improved significantly. Plus, vaccine distribution has enabled the state's most vulnerable populations to be protected.
The current modified Stay-At-Home order will continue until Feb. 28
The governor’s order will continue to require that people stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. from the previous order. It now will expire Jan. 29 at 5 p.m.
North Carolina will enter a Modified Stay-at-Home Order taking effect Friday, Dec. 11 lasting through Jan. 8.
The Order takes effect on Dec. 11 at 5 p.m. It is effective until Jan. 8 at 5 p.m.
In the Order
- Certain businesses and facilities are ordered to close to the public between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. (the “Night-Time Public Closure Period”). This includes restaurants (with exceptions for take-out and delivery, as noted below), bars, entertainment venues, parks, museums and aquariums, certain retail establishments, and other businesses and facilities specified below and in the Order.
- All individuals in North Carolina must stay at home or the place they will remain for the night between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. (the “Stay at Home Period”), unless an exception applies.
- The sale and service of alcoholic beverages is prohibited for on-site consumption between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.
- Events or convenings outside of the home must end by 10 p.m. and guests must leave the establishment and travel home or to the place where they will stay for the night.
- The capacity limitations on certain businesses, indoor and outdoor gathering limits, and other public health measures implemented by previous executive orders are extended through Jan. 8.
Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan has issued an emergency declaration to reinforce Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 176, requiring the use of face coverings by persons in North Carolina and reducing the occupancy limits of most indoor activities.
This declaration takes effect at 5 pm, Friday, November 20, and shall remain in effect until it is modified or rescinded by the Mayor.
Greensboro City Council is declaring a State of Emergency reinforcing the provisions of Governor Cooper’s Executive Orders to protect public health, safety, and welfare of all Greensboro residents.
“This enhanced State of Emergency does not include additional regulations,” said Mayor Vaughan. “This is an effort to reinforce existing regulations, allowing the City Manager to deploy employees as needed.”
To reinforce these guidelines business owners found to have been functioning substantially in violation of these guidelines and orders shall be cited for such violations.
They shall be cited and fined $100 for each person found to be on the premises or within any structure in excess of the limits imposed by the above-referenced Executive Orders for such premises or structures. This fine shall be a civil penalty to be enforced by City employees, such as Fire officials who make observations of non-compliant operation of structures in the City and render civil penalties.
A warning will be issued for the first violation. Upon the second violation, any such offices and businesses shall be cited and ordered to close immediately for a period of 24 hours. Upon the third violation, offices and businesses shall be cited and ordered to close immediately and remain closed for a period of 48 hours. A fourth violation requires offices and businesses to cited and close immediately and remain closed for 72 hours. The closures will be progressive according to non-compliance. Days when the business is typically closed are not included in the required closure.
“I want all businesses to safely remain open and to safely send our children back to school,” said Mayor Vaughan. “Until a vaccine is readily available, we must work together to stop the spread of Covid-19, by practicing the 3-Ws (Wear, Wait and Wash). Prevention is the key. Support our local business by using curbside or delivery options, especially if you cannot wear a mask.”
Offices and businesses should be in compliance with, among other things, the following specific requirements:
- Applicable capacity limits clearly marked at all entrances
- Compliance with such capacity limitations
- Signage on all entrances giving notice that face covering, over mouth and nose, is a requirement to gain admission to any such office or business
- All employees who interact with the general public wearing a face covering
- Any employee who cannot maintain social distance from other employees consistently must wear a face covering
- Social distancing must be maintained as per the Governor’s order
- Hand sanitizer must be provided
As we slowly get back to what will be the “new” normal from the COVID-19, Greensboro is ready to greet you.
ALERT: City of Greensboro to Require Face Coverings within the City Limits
In response to COVID-19 and in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan has issued an emergency proclamation requiring face coverings to be worn anytime a person will be in contact with other people in public or private spaces where it is not possible to maintain proper social distancing. This declaration takes effect at 5 pm, Tuesday, June 23 and shall remain in effect until it is modified or rescinded by the Mayor. These places include grocery stores, pharmacies, business locations, parking lots, sidewalks, and public transit.
A face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth and can be secured with ties or straps, or simply wrapped around the lower face. It can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk, or linen. A cloth face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, t-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.
Acceptable, reusable face covering options for the general public include: bandanas, neck gaiters, homemade face coverings, scarves, or tightly woven fabric such as cotton T-shirts and some types of towels. It is not required to wear face coverings during individual exercise outdoors, or while walking or exercising with other people from the same household, as long as social distance from others is maintained.
All restaurant, personal care, grooming, tattoo, and retail employees and staff shall wear a face covering while on duty. It is recommended that all businesses require customers to wear a face covering while inside the business.
Face coverings are not required:
• For those who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical or behavioral condition.
• For children under 5-years-old.
• For restaurant patrons while they are dining.
• In private, individual offices.
• When complying with directions of law enforcement officers.
• In settings where it is not practical or feasible to wear a face covering, including when obtaining or rendering goods or services, such as the receipt of dental services or while swimming.
• While with members of a family or the same household.
• For people whose religious beliefs prevent them from wearing a face covering.
All Guilford County Parks are open. Some hours and restrictions may be in place. Check out the Piedmont Discovery App to find the best place for your next adventure in Guilford County. Campgrounds are also open -- be sure to call ahead to confirm availability.
Parks and Recreation
• Picnic shelter reservations resume Monday, September 8 and are subject to outdoor gathering limits of 50 people or less.
• Playgrounds will begin opening Tuesday, September 8. Outdoor basketball courts will begin opening Saturday, September 12.
Greensboro is home to over 90 hotels. Rest your head here. Each hotel open is keeping you safe and clean with procedures in place. Please call or check their website for more details.
To Eat and Drink
As of October, restaurants are now allowed to open but must operate at a 75% capacity. As you begin to enjoy dining out once again, visit Count On Me NC to find out what you can do as a guest to help keep everyone safe and healthy, and also learn how businesses are making improvements to do the same.
Explore our great restaurants below. Visit their website or call ahead for more information on what they are offering. Many of our area restaurants are on mobile delivery apps.
Be PTI Prepared when flying through the PTI Airport.