Relaxed restrictions: No masks outdoors, increased mass gathering limits in NC begin Friday afternoon

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North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s newest COVID-19 restrictions go into effect at 5 p.m. Friday, lifting mask mandates outdoors and increasing mass gathering limits to 100 people indoors and 200 outdoors.

The governor made the announcement Wednesday that North Carolina will begin to cautiously ease some restrictions starting April 30.

“We hope to go even further when we get at least two-thirds of adults vaccinated with at least one dose. Once we get there and if our trends are stable, we plan to lift the mask mandate completely. Let’s work hard in May and get as many people vaccinated as we can,” Gov. Cooper said.

Gov. Cooper has said he anticipates lifting mandatory capacity, mass gathering and social distancing restrictions by June 1, but warned that the pandemic is not over.

“We do have the power to put it behind us if we do what works: wearing our masks when we’re supposed to, keeping our distance when we’re supposed to, and getting vaccinated,” he said.

The CDC also announced new mask-wearing guidelines this week. U.S. health officials said fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to wear masks outdoors anymore unless they are in a big crowd of strangers, and those who are unvaccinated can go without a face covering outside in some cases, too.

The CDC guidance says that fully vaccinated or not, people do not have to wear masks outdoors when they walk, bike or run alone or with members of their household. They also can go maskless in small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated people.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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