CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina will enter a prolonged, "Safer at Home" Phase 2 of coronavirus restriction easing beginning Friday at 5 p.m.
Restaurants are allowed to open for in-person dining at 50 percent capacity and will use enhanced cleaning and health screening.
Gov. Cooper: "Restaurants are a major part of our economy, and this virus has been tough on them. As we enter Phase 2, I appreciate that restaurant owners across the state are focused on how to keep customers and employees safe. They know that strong safety precautions will be good business."
In efforts to help keep restaurants safe, NCDHHS developed an online training for owners, managers, and employees of restaurants, hotels, and other businesses. The online training course is called Count on Me NC. It’s focused on advanced cleaning, disinfection, social distancing, and hygiene practices to better protect the public and employees from exposure to COVID-19. Restaurants and businesses that have completed the course will have a sign in the window and a logo for the website in the window, on doors and menus to show their commitment to using new safety protocols.
Also, as Memorial Day Weekend approaches, a time usually for cookout and parties, Gov. Cooper says he wants people to have a great time, but continue using caution.
"I urge all North Carolinians to take the COVID-19 restrictions and safety rules seriously. Keep gatherings to under 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors. And remember the Three Ws – wear a face covering, wait six feet apart from other people and wash your hands frequently."
Under the new order, which is expected to last at least 5 weeks, the following businesses and operations can reopen:
Bars and playgrounds, which had been expected to reopen during Phase 2, will remain closed along with:
"The increases in COVID-19 cases indicate the need to take a more modest phase 2 than initially expected," Cooper said.
Calling it a 'Safer at Home' Phase 2, Cooper further emphasized, "Just because you can go out somewhere, doesn't mean you should."
OTHER STORIES ON WCNC
RELATED: Mecklenburg County man with no known underlying health conditions dies from COVID-19 related infection