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Gov. Cooper Announces End To Curfew, Easing Of Some Pandemic Restrictions

Credit Courtesy UNC-TV and NCDHHS

Governor Roy Cooper says he will ease some restrictions designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Starting Friday, a nightly curfew will be lifted and some businesses will be allowed to serve more people indoors. It will also be the first time that bars can serve a limited number of patrons indoors since the first restrictions were put in place nearly a year ago.

In a briefing Wednesday afternoon, Cooper said those previous restrictions have stabilized the number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

"I think there's been a positive effect and people deserve a pat on the back. What we've said all along is that if data indicates, we will ease these restrictions," said Cooper.



Outdoor sports and concert venues, including high school stadiums, will be allowed to operate at 30% capacity. Indoor venues like basketball and hockey arenas will be able to admit spectators at 15% of their capacity. A statewide mask mandate will remain in effect.

Metrics for COVID-19 test results, new cases and hospitalizations are all improving. Cooper says that's given him confidence that restrictions can be eased safely. But he warns that mask wearing, hand washing, and social distancing is still necessary to prevent a backslide.   

Copyright 2021 North Carolina Public Radio

Will Michaels started his professional radio career at WUNC.
Amy is the incoming Daily News Editor at WUNC in Chapel Hill where she manages day-to-day coverage of everything from gerrymandering to rogue emus.