Local News

Phase 3 in NC: Here's what to expect

Posted August 5, 2020 9:09 a.m. EDT
Updated August 5, 2020 10:37 a.m. EDT

Coronavirus: After the Outbreak

When North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper updates the state's coronavirus response Wednesday afternoon, owners of bars and gyms will be listening closely for a sign that businesses closed for months can reopen. Those two industries have been the hardest hit since the state shut down in March and have been unable to welcome customers back as the state gradually reopened.

On July 14, Cooper extended a "safer at home" executive order for a second time, through Aug. 7, and added a requirement that people wear masks when out in public. That kept bars, nightclubs, gyms and other indoor fitness facilities closed with few exceptions.

Other businesses have limits to capacity, and all must comply with the face covering requirement for employees and customers.


What's open: Restaurants, salons, barber shops, camps and public pools, but with limited on capacity and cleaning requirements.

What's closed: Playgrounds, bars, nightclubs, gyms and indoor fitness centers and entertainment venues

Closed in Phase 2


Phase 3 will take effect no sooner than Aug. 7. Based on the governor's statements, he could lift limits on public gatherings, visits to nursing homes and other care facilities and could allow bars and gyms to reopen.

Phase 3 or any next step is likely to have continued restrictions including:

  • Gov. Cooper has not defined a specific timeline to reopen playgrounds, bars, nightclubs, sports arenas and gyms.
  • Vulnerable people should stay home or avoid crowded spaces.
  • Open businesses could increase capacity within limits to allow social distancing.
  • Larger groups can gather, especially outdoors. The governor has not defined a new maximum for gatherings.
  • Strict rules and restrictions are likely to stay in place at nursing homes and other care facilities, including rehab centers and hospitals.

Our commenting policy has changed. If you would like to comment, please share on social media using the icons below and comment there.