Gov. Roy Cooper Lifts Outdoor Mask Mandate, Announces New Gathering Rules


Gov. Roy Cooper announced Wednesday (April 28) that he was lifting the outdoor mask mandate across the state and increasing the numbers allowed for gatherings, ABC 11 reports. Masks will still be required in indoor public settings, however, as "this virus still can spread easily when we're inside."

Starting Friday (April 30), facial coverings will no longer be required in outdoor settings. Mass gatherings limits will also increase to 100 people indoors and 200 outdoors. The news comes one day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its mask guidance, saying people who are fully vaccinated can engage in various activities without a mask.

Gov. Cooper and state health officials believe North Carolina is on track for capacity and gathering restrictions to be lifted by June 1. He also hopes to completely lift the mask mandate once two-thirds of adults in the state are at least partially vaccinated and COVID-19 trends are stable. Currently, around half are partially vaccinated and nearly 40% are fully vaccinated.

"Even though we're continuing our dimmer switch approach of easing restrictions, we need to stay vigilant," said Cooper. "In addition to indoor masks, many of our strong safety requirements remain in place for public places, including social distancing and capacity limits, which are important."

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