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Answering your face mask mandate questions

Gov. Roy Cooper mandated on Wednesday face masks as a requirement in public. WFMY News 2 answers your frequently asked questions.

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.


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