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What does phase 2 reopening mean for churches, weddings, and funerals?

Receptions or visitations before or after weddings and funerals are subject to the mass gathering limits under North Carolina's phase 2 reopening plan.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — As the state enters the new Phase 2 reopening, lots of people are asking about what it means for churches, weddings, and funerals.

Here’s what you need to know about all three provided by the state.

Are houses of worship allowed to hold services in Phase 2?

The mass gathering limit and other requirements of this Executive Order do not apply to worship, religious, and spiritual gatherings, funeral ceremonies, wedding ceremonies, and other activities constituting the exercise of First Amendment rights. Individuals are encouraged to follow the Three Ws to reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19.

Are weddings and funerals allowed to be held in Phase 2?

Yes. Even though there is no mass gathering cap on the people who may attend a wedding or funeral ceremony, receptions or visitations before or after weddings and funerals are subject to the mass gathering limit. Individuals are encouraged to follow the Three Ws to reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19.

What is the new mass gathering limit?

In Phase 2, gatherings of more than ten people in a single indoor space remains prohibited. In outdoor spaces, gatherings of more than 25 people are prohibited. These mass gathering limits include parades, fairs, festivals, auditoriums, stadiums, arenas, conference rooms, and meeting halls. The mass gathering limit does not apply to retail businesses, restaurants, personal care and grooming businesses, pools, child care, day camps, and overnight camps. In these settings, there are other restrictions, such as 50 percent reduced occupancy or putting six feet of distance between each group at a restaurant, to ensure that there is not overcrowding. 3 The prohibition on mass gatherings does not include gatherings for health and safety, to look for and obtain goods and services, for work, or for receiving governmental services. A mass gathering does not include normal operations at airports, bus and train stations or stops, medical facilities, libraries, shopping malls, and shopping centers. It also does not apply to the exercise of First Amendment rights. However, in these settings, people are strongly encouraged to follow the Three Ws, and should avoid congregating in groups.

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