Bars, movie theaters and amusement parks can open with restrictions, Gov. Cooper announces

WTVD logo
Friday, October 2, 2020
Gov. Roy Cooper announces phase 3, says bars, movie theatres can open at reduced capacity
In a news briefing, Gov. Roy Cooper announced that bars would be able to open for limited outdoor capacity, and movie theatres, amusement parks and outdoor venues would be able to open with limited seating.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday announced that bars -- for the first time since March -- will be able to open for limited outdoor capacity.

Movie theatres, amusement parks, and outdoor venues will also be able to open with limited capacity.

Under Phase 3, all of the above businesses will be allowed to open to 30 percent capacity or 100 people, whichever is less. In addition, as Cooper announced last week, all outdoor stadiums that can seat more than 10,000 people will only be allowed to open to 7 percent capacity.

Though bars will now be able to open, the statewide 11 p.m. alcohol curfew will remain in place until at least Oct. 23.


Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday announced that bars -- for the first time since March -- will be able to open for limited outdoor capacity.

If a bar doesn't have a stated outdoor occupancy, no more than seven guests are allowed for every 1,000 square feet of the outdoor area's square footage.

The new executive order, which will replace Phase 2.5 when it expires Friday, will go into effect at 5 p.m. on that day.

The limits on mass gatherings will remain at 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.

"I believe that North Carolina can do this safely. But so I am clear, every gathering carries the risk of spreading this disease," Cooper said. "Being safe means being smart and making sure others around you are doing the same."


El gobernador dijo hoy que vamos a empezar fase tres el viernes a las cinco de la tarde.

During the Wednesday briefing, Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen cited COVID-19 metrics that have remained stable throughout September, despite gyms, museums, aquariums, playgrounds and schools opening at the beginning of the month.

However, Cohen said the metrics are "fragile."

"We are going to need to double down on our work in order to slow this virus down," she said.

WATCH: NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen explains where North Carolina stands on key COVID-19 metrics

NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said North Carolina's COVID-19 metrics are remaining stable, however, they are starting to tick upwards and could spike in the fall and winter months.

In the latest White House Coronavirus Task Force Report to governors, which ABC News obtained earlier this week, North Carolina was listed in the "red zone" for COVID-19 cases, meaning the state reported more than 100 new cases per 100,000 people in a week. The state was also listed in the "yellow zone" for tests, indicating a percent positivity rate between 5.0% and 7.9%. Counties in the "red zone" include Cumberland, Nash and Wayne counties, with Rocky Mount and Goldsboro listed as localities in the red zone.

Bar and movie theatre owners have repeatedly expressed their frustrations that they have been left out of previous reopening phases. However, Cooper and Cohen have defended their decisions to keep these businesses closed, touting the successes of their slow, "dimmer switch" reopening plan. State legislators tried several times to pass bills that would allow bars to reopen with limited capacity, however, Cooper vetoed each attempt.