Governor Roy Cooper has announced the entire state of North Carolina has moved into Safer at Home Phase 2.5 through Friday, Oct. 2, at the earliest.

Face coverings are required at all times while in public, both indoors and outdoors, when unable to maintain a 6-foot distance from others. This requirement includes all employees and customers of retail businesses, restaurants and personal care businesses. Exceptions include people with medical conditions, children under 5, and people who are walking or exercising outside (although masks are still encouraged, depending on the strenuousness of the activity).

Phase 2.5 recommends staying at home when possible, limiting nonessential travel and practicing social distancing. It allows restaurants, museums, aquariums, animal parks and swimming pools to remain open at limited capacity. Bars and entertainment venues such as theaters and amusement parks remain closed. Gatherings are generally limited to no more than 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.

If traveling is necessary, individuals are encouraged to check with local tourism organizations to determine if any limitations are in place (e.g. visitor center closures), and to contact lodging establishments directly for their most up-to-date information. Current destinations with various limitations in place can be found here. Please use your best judgment if traveling, and practice good hygiene while avoiding close contact with others.

More information about local restaurant resources specific to North Carolina destinations can be found via their local tourism organization, which can be found here. Visit Count On Me NC to see a list of businesses – restaurants, lodging, attractions and others – that have completed the Count On Me NC training, as these businesses are making a concerted effort to help keep everyone safe and healthy. As a guest, you can take your own pledge, too, to show you’re doing your part.

For more information on North Carolina relating to coronavirus, visitors can go to the website for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.