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North Carolina to ease COVID-19 restrictions, enter Phase 1 of reopening Friday

The move is part of a three-phase plan to reopen the state.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday that North Carolina will move into Phase 1 of easing restrictions of its stay-home-order.

The move is part of a three-phase plan to reopen the state. Gradually reopening North Carolina will help “prevent hot spots of viral spread while also beginning to bring our economy back,” Cooper said on the NorthCarolina.gov website.

RELATED: Gov. Cooper unveils 3-part plan to reopen state, extends stay-at-home order through May 8

Here’s what it means to enter into Phase 1:

  • Modify the stay-at-home order to allow travel not currently defined as essential allowing people to leave home for commercial activity at any business that is allowed to be open, such as clothing stores, sporting goods stores, book shops, houseware stores, and other retailers.
  • Ensure that any open stores implement appropriate employee and consumer social distancing, enhanced hygiene and cleaning protocols, symptom screening of employees, accommodations for vulnerable workers, and provide education to employees and workers to combat misinformation
  • Continue to limit gatherings to no more than 10 people
  • Reopen parks that have been closed subject to the same gathering limitation. Outdoor exercise will continue to be encouraged.
  • Continue to recommend face coverings in public spaces when 6 feet of distancing isn’t possible
  • Encourage employers to continue teleworking policies
  • Continue rigorous restrictions on nursing homes and other congregant care settings
  • Local emergency orders with more restrictive measures may remain in place.

RELATED: What you need to know about Phase 1 of reopening North Carolina

Phase 1 is expected to last at least two to three weeks before we move into Phase 2, provided the state maintains key metrics.

Phase 1 will begin Friday at 5 p.m.

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