GREENSBORO, N.C. — Face coverings are now required in North Carolina as a part of Phase 2 of the state's "Safer At Home" coronavirus reopening plan. Gov. Roy Cooper announced the face mask requirement Wednesday afternoon. The additional restriction goes into effect June 26.
Where do I have to wear a face-covering?
Per Cooper's mandate, face coverings are required in public places. This includes
- Inside all retailers (both customers and workers)
- Restaurants (workers and all customers who aren't at a table)
- Personal care businesses (workers and all customers unless the personal care applies to their face)
- Child care facilities (all workers and any kids 11 years old and older)
- Public and private transit (includes all public transit as well as rideshare services, cabs, vans and shuttles even if that transport business is privately owned)
- Meat and poultry plants
- Long term care facilities
Are there any exemptions from the face mask requirement?
Per the governor's press conference, you do not have to wear a face mask if you are:
- Children younger than 11 years old
- Actively eating or drinking
- Doing strenuous exercise
- Communicating with hearing impaired in which mouth visibility is required
- Giving a speech or broadcast to an audience
- Working at home
- Driving/riding in personal vehicle
- Operating equipment or vehicles where the mask impedes visibility
Can the requirement be enforced?
Local law enforcement has the power to criminally enforce the order under Section 14-12.11 of the NC General Statutes. Cooper passed the legislation on May 4. The legislation is temporary, expiring on August 1, unless it is extended further by the government.
NOTE: If someone, either a worker or customer, enters a public building and refuses to wear a mask, law enforcement can enforce trespassing laws, according to the governor.
How long will the face mask requirement be in effect?
Cooper made the order effective as of Friday at 5 p.m. Phase 2, and the additional mask requirement will be extended three weeks from that point until Friday, July 17 at 5 p.m. unless it is further extended.
Have more questions? Visit the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website.
WATCH GOV. COOPER'S FULL PRESS CONFERENCE: