Shoppers out in droves to Raleigh, Durham as outdoor mask mandate lifted

It's the first weekend those fully vaccinated in North Carolina could ditch their masks outdoors.

Local events like Moore Square Market kicked off Sunday.

"Everyone has been cooped up in the house so to have this freedom and see people smile again and back together it means a lot," said Jelia Hepner, who was visiting from Fayetteville.

In Durham, a mix of people were still wearing masks outside.

Brad Weddington, owner of Nanasteak in Durham, said in the last week, he's seen an increase in outdoor seating. Crediting his boom in business this weekend to the Duke graduation.

"Everyone has been supportive. There were some times in February when it was 35 degrees and raining and people were out there," Weddington said.

But at the Glass Jug on Foster Street outside, very few were. The business just opened their second location three weeks ago.

"The mask mandate being lifted has some sway into that, even if it doesn't result in people running out the doors, it is at least making them feel more comfortable," said co-owner Chris Creech. "We're starting to ease back into things with more and more people getting the vaccine. That is helping as well."
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