NC Gov. Cooper relaxes COVID restrictions; some apprehensive moving forward with new guidance

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NORTH CAROLINA (WSPA) – Lots of changes to Covid-19 restrictions have been made in North Carolina as Governor Roy Cooper announced Friday that businesses no longer have to operate at reduced capacity and masks are no longer required in most indoor and outdoor settings.

Governor Cooper’s announcement comes on the heels of the CDC announcing that fully vaccinated people can safely do most activities without wearing a mask or the need to social distance.

According to the Governor’s office, more than 7.7 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered to North Carolinians. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported it will have strong public health recommendations for people to continue to protect one another until more people are vaccinated.

That’s the case for workers over at Moe’s Original BBQ in Hendersonville.

“Mainly what we’re doing here is that everybody here is still just kind’ve to wear their mask because you know, we care about each other here,” said Front of House Worker for Moe’s Original BBQ, Shane Carter. “We all have families at home, and wives and kids, all that. So, we’re mainly just wearing our mask here just for everybody else’s safety around here.”

Carter said as for the customer’s choice on whether or not to wear a mask, it’s optional.

“So we don’t force customers to wear a mask,” Carter said. “But if they wear a mask we’re not going to you know, the Governor says you need to wear it and this and that.”

As for Diane Dean, she’s an artist with her own gallery along Main Street.

She’s still on the fence.

“We haven’t totally decided yet if we’re quite ready to just let anyone inside without the masks,” Dean said. “So, seeing the signs up tonight and being around a lot of people without masks, it’s going to be sort of hard for us to decide.”

She said it has more to do with not knowing who is vaccinated.

“We’re hoping that everyone is being honest so that we can all be safe,” Dean said. “And I think we have to see how that goes.”

Gabriele Hoffmann has been vaccinated.

She agrees with Dean that you don’t know what others believe, so she suggested that it’s best to do what’s best for you.

“I think you need to use your common sense for your own health and maybe also for other peoples’ health,” said Hoffmann.

As for the Jones family, Lydia and Brandon, Friday night was their first date night in a while.

“That makes a lot of sense for all of the people that you see out,” Brandon Jones said. “No, I’m totally cool with it.”

When 7 News spoke with them, they couldn’t even get a seat at the restaurant they wanted to go to because it was packed.

Brandon Jones said he’s just happy to see things get back to the way they were pre-pandemic.

“Normalcy,” Jones said. “We’re a year out from what normalcy was, so, whatever that is.”

According to the latest update, local governments and businesses can still require that you wear a mask.

According to the Governor’s office, you’ll also still have to wear masks in certain settings like on public transportation, in doctor’s offices and hospitals, as well as long-term care settings like nursing homes.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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