With Phase 3, movie theaters and bars can open at reduced capacity

Published 7:17 am Thursday, October 1, 2020

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On Friday, Oct. 2 at 5 p.m., North Carolina will move “cautiously” into Phase 3, Governor Roy Cooper announced Wednesday afternoon.

Metrics remain stable, but fragile, reported North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen.

Under Executive Order 169, some restrictions are eased. The forward move expires Oct. 23.

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New provision include:

– Large outdoor venues with seating greater than 10,000 may operate with 7% occupancy for spectators. No standing room tickets will be sold.

– Smaller outdoor entertainment venues, like arenas or amphitheaters, may operate outdoors at 30% of outdoor capacity or 100 guests, whichever is less.

– Movie theaters and conference centers may open indoor spaces to 30% of stated fire capacity, or 100 guests, whichever is less.

– Bars may operate outdoor seating areas at 30% of outdoor capacity or 100 guests, whichever is less. This executive order section explains capacity restrictions, social distancing requirements, face coverings and additional requirements.

– Amusement parks may open at 30% occupancy for outdoor attractions only, but can open inside restaurant, concessions, gift or retail shops and restrooms. Capacity restrictions and other requirements apply.

Fitness and physical activity facilities include 14 types of facilities covered. For indoor areas, capacity is the lesser of 30% of stated fire capacity (for those without fire capacity, the limit is seven guests per 1,000 feet.) In any room, guests must stay six feet apart. In outdoor areas, the limit is 12 guests per 1,000 feet. Additional regulations are spelled out by the order.

The limits on mass gatherings remain at 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.

The 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew on alcohol sales for in-person consumption in locations such as restaurants and outdoor bars is extended to Oct. 23.

Other requirements include providing alcohol-based hand sanitizer at the entrance and other areas as needed, increasing disinfection during peak times and marking six-feet of spacing in lines.

For those at high-risk, it is advised they are still safer at home.

When outside homes, follow social distancing and wear face coverings, which are mandated. Employers must make a good faith effort to provide a one-week supply of reusable face coverings or new disposable face covering daily.

This executive order includes previously issued orders for child care facilities, children’s day or overnight camps, government operations, museums and aquariums, parks and more.

State and public health officials will watch the key COVID-19 trends over the next several weeks to determine if any further restrictions can be eased when the current Executive Order expires Oct. 23, states a media release.



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