Gov. Roy Cooper announces Phase 3 of state reopening plan, effective Oct. 2


Jake Markland, Reporter

Coronavirus restrictions for certain businesses in North Carolina are being lifted Oct. 2 at 5 p.m. under Phase 3. 

Governor Roy Cooper announced that Phase 3 will allow outdoor entertainment venues and movie theaters to open at 30% capacity, or 100 people, whichever is less. Outdoor amusement parks can open at 30%. Bars can open outdoors at 30% outdoors capacity or 100 people, whichever is less. 

 This announcement comes as North Carolina has 210,632 cumulative cases and 3,532 total deaths as of Sept. 30. 

I believe that North Carolina can do this safely,” Cooper said at a press conference Wednesday. “But so I am clear, every gathering carries the risk of spreading this disease. Being safe means being smart and making sure others around you are doing the same.” 

Large outdoor venues that can seat more than 10,000 people, like football stadiums, can now open at 7% capacity. For example, Kidd Brewer Stadium, which seats 30,000, can now have 2,100 people in the stands. 

Gatherings will remain limited to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors, carrying over from Phase 2.5.

Despite this, movie theaters and conference centers can open at 30% capacity, or 100 people, but bars and smaller entertainment venues must stay outside at 30% or 100 people. 

The 11 p.m. alcohol sales cutoff will continue through Phase 3, while bars will be open for the first time since March. 

If you’re going out, do what works — wear a mask, keep social distancing, wash your hands often and don’t patronize or go to places where people aren’t doing that,” Cooper said. 

Cooper encouraged at-risk populations, like people older than 65, to remain at home.

“Every careful step we make forward, and every time we wear a mask and keep our distance, we are helping to keep this disease at bay, and building a stronger North Carolina,” Cooper said.