North Carolina phase 2 will reopen restaurants, not bars (Reports).

North Carolina will enter a prolonged, Phase 2 of coronavirus restriction loosening beginning Friday at 5 p.m., North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and other state leaders announced Wednesday.

Under the new order, which is expected to last at least 5 weeks, the following businesses and operations can reopen:

Restaurants at 50% dine-in capacity with distancing and cleaning requirements
Personal care businesses, including salons and barbers, at 50% capacity with distancing and cleaning requirements. Employees of personal care businesses will be required to wear face coverings.
Pools at 50% capacity with distancing and cleaning requirements.

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Childcare facilities, day camps and overnight camps will be open with enhanced cleaning and screening requirements.

Retail businesses allowed to open in Phase 1 at 50% capacity will continue at that level.

Bars and playgrounds, which had been expected to reopen during Phase 2, will remain closed along with:

Nightclub
Gyms
Movie theaters
Bowling alleys
“The increases in COVID-19 cases indicate the need to take a more modest phase 2 than initially expected,” Cooper said.

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Calling it a ‘Safer at Home’ Phase 2, Cooper further emphasized, “Just because you can go out somewhere, doesn’t mean you should.”

Indoor gatherings will still be limited to ten people while outdoor gatherings can have up to 25. Religious organizations are exempt from gathering limitations but encouraged to practice social distancing.

Cooper encouraged the continuation of teleworking whenever possible.

“This next phase can help us boost our economy and that’s great, but we can only boost our economy when people have confidence that they’re safe,” Cooper said.

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Phase 1 had started May 8 and ran for 2 weeks, the minimum amount of time permitted under the governor’s 3 phase plan. With Phase 2, officials are setting an expectation that Phase 3 would not begin for at least 5 weeks.

“We are moving to Phase 2 but we need to move cautiously,” Dr. Mandy Cohen, the director of North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services, as she reviewed the requirements to graduate from Phase 1 to Phase 2.

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