What can reopen in North Carolina? Information about Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3

WTVD logo
Saturday, March 28, 2020
Gov. Cooper describes what Phase 2 will look like Friday
Here's what will reopen in Phase 2 and what is required to stay closed as part of Gov. Cooper's executive order.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- North Carolina is entering phase 2 of Gov. Roy Cooper's three phase plan to reopen the state amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The virus has infected at least 20,860 people in North Carolina, causing more than 716 deaths.

Doors to many businesses have been required by law to be closed since March 17. At 5 p.m. Friday, May 22, some of those businesses will be allowed to reopen.

RELATED: In one-on-one interview with ABC11, Gov. Cooper explains why North Carolina is not ready to reopen completely

Gov. Roy Cooper explained why North Carolina isn't ready to fully reopen just yet.

Here's what is reopening in Phase 2:

  • Restaurants -- Dine-in service is now allowed. Capacity is capped at 50%. Social distancing and cleaning requirements implemented.
  • Salons/Barber Shops -- Capacity is capped at 50%. Employees must wear face coverings.
  • Tattoo Parlors -- Capacity is capped at 50%. Employees must wear face coverings.
  • Massage Centers -- Capacity is capped at 50%. Employees must wear face coverings.
  • Pools -- Capacity is capped at 50% or a maximum of 33 people per 1,000 square feet in deck areas, wading pools and splash pads, and a maximum occupancy in the water of 10 people per 1,000 square feet.
  • Child Care Facilities -- Facilities may reopen to all North Carolina children. Every person who enters the building must undergo a health screening.
  • Day Camps -- Every worker and child at the camp must undergo a health screening.
  • Overnight Camps -- Every worker must undergo a daily symptoms screening.
  • Retail Businesses -- Capacity is capped at 50%. High-traffic areas and points of sale locations must have markers indicated six feet of spacing.

All open locations must have signage posted reminding patrons about social distancing as well as the new Emergency Maximum Occupancy limit.
Workers at all locations must complete a daily symptoms screening using the state's standard interview questionnaire.

Wondering what North Carolina State Parks are open? Check here.

Here's what is not reopening in Phase 2:

Mass gatherings of more than 10 people inside or 25 people outside remain illegal

Entertainment facilities without a retail or dining component:

  • Nightclubs and bars
  • Bingo Parlors, including bingo sites operated by charitable organizations
  • Bowling Alleys
  • Indoor Exercise Facilities ( e.g., gyms, yoga studios, martial arts facilities, indoor trampoline and rock climbing facilities)
  • Health Clubs, Fitness Centers, and Gyms
  • Live Performance Venues
  • Movie Theaters
  • Skating Rinks
  • Gaming and business establishments which allow gaming activities (e.g., video poker, gaming, sweepstakes, video games, arcade games, pinball machines or othercomputer, electronic or mechanical devices played for amusement).
  • Venues for receptions or parties
  • Museums
  • Amusement parks

High risk? Stay home

People at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are strongly encouraged to stay home and only travel for essential purposes. High-risk individuals are anyone over 65 years of age or anyone of any age with underlying medical conditions--including those who are immunocompromised, have chronic lung disease, moderate-to-severe asthma, serious heart conditions, severe obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis, or liver disease.


North Carolina will move into Phase 2; Salons, restaurants can reopen but gyms must stay closed

North Carolina to begin Phase 1 of reopening plan on Friday, May 8 at 5 p.m.

Gov. Roy Cooper laid out a plan to reopen North Carolina, but here's what has to happen first

Here are the 3 phases of Gov. Cooper's reopening plan

As NC loosens restrictions on retailers, thrift stores brace for influx of donations, customers

Phase 1 of North Carolina's reopening plan has doctors' offices preparing to open with new precautions

Gyms brace for new COVID-19 procedures with Phase 2 on the horizon

Reopening Phases

PHASE 1: Started May 8 at 5 p.m.

  • Retailers and services will need to implement social distancing practices, cleaning and other protocols. Any businesses specifically closed by the executive order--including bars and restaurants for dine-in service, nail and hair salons, gyms and movie theatres--must stay closed.
  • Gatherings must not exceed 10 people
  • Parks can open, as long as people are maintaining social distancing and not gathering in groups of 10 or more people
  • Face coverings are recommended in public
  • Visitor and gathering restrictions remain in place for nursing homes and other congregate living settings
  • Employers are asked to encourage employees to continue teleworking

PHASE 2: Starting May 22 at 5 p.m.

  • Lift stay-at-home order with strong encouragement for vulnerable populations to continue staying at home
  • Allow limited opening of restaurants and other businesses that can follow strict safety protocols, including reduced capacity, increased cleaning measures and social distancing measures
  • More people will be allowed at gatherings
  • Face coverings will still be recommended in public
  • Pools will open
  • Restrictions on nursing home and other congregate living setting visitors and gatherings will continue

PHASE 3: about 4-6 weeks after Phase 2

  • Restrictions for vulnerable populations will be loosened, with encouragement to continue practicing social distancing
  • Increased capacity at restaurants, bars, other businesses, houses of worship and entertainment venues will be allowed, but that specific number has not been determined
  • The number of people allowed at gatherings will increase
  • Continue rigorous restrictions on nursing homes and other congregate living settings

More coronavirus coverage:

This story was originally published on March 27 and has been updated.