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How will North Carolina's face mask requirement be enforced?

Face masks are now required in public across North Carolina, but how will the mandate be enforced?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Face masks are officially mandatory in North Carolina as of 5 p.m. on Friday, June 26 in accordance with Governor Cooper's latest executive order aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19

Masks will be required in public places, like restaurants, supermarkets and stores. People will be allowed to remove their face masks while sitting down to eat at a restaurant, of course, and there are a few other exemptions from the order. They include children under 11, people with medical conditions that make breathing difficult, people who are exercising and anyone who is socially-distance from other people.

Businesses that don't enforce Cooper's order could face a citation from law enforcement, but with there being a bit of a gray area on who has to wear a mask and when it's basically on an honor system at this point. 

Multiple sheriffs in the Charlotte area, including Catawba County and Iredell County, said they won't be able to effectively enforce the mandate, so it's up to businesses to require customers to wear masks. 

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If a person isn't wearing their mask, the rules can be explained to them by law enforcement, but it's up to each individual police department on how they handle the order; however, police are not allowed to arrest or fine any individuals who do not comply with the order. If a person is asked to leave a business because they refuse to wear a mask, the order does allow police to enforce trespassing laws.

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