Increased face covering requirement begins Wednesday

Published 2:07 pm Tuesday, November 24, 2020

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On Monday, Gov. Roy Cooper issued a new executive order that increases face covering requirements to prevent the rapid spread of COVID-19. This order takes effect from 5 p.m. Wednesday until at least 5 p.m. Dec. 11.

A face covering will now be required in all indoor settings if there are non-household members present, regardless of the distance away.

Under previous executive orders, face coverings were required indoors only if people were within six feet.

Under this executive order, face coverings continue to be required in public outdoor settings if individuals are unable to maintain six feet of social distance with non-household members.

In indoor gyms and fitness facilities, face coverings are now required when people are exercising.

In restaurants, guests are required to wear face coverings at their table unless they are actively eating or drinking.

Retail business locations with more than 15,000 square feet of interior space must have a worker, at each entrance open to the public, who is responsible for enforcing the executive orders’ face covering and emergency maximum occupancy requirements.

On public transportation, customers may be denied entry if they refuse to wear a face covering.

The executive order’s face covering requirements are now enforceable by law enforcement against individuals.

Under previous executive orders, face covering requirements were enforceable only against businesses or organizations that failed to enforce the requirement to wear face coverings. Law enforcement continues to have this authority under this order.

To ensure that testing occurs to the maximum extent possible, this order prohibits all local prohibitions and restrictions that would prevent a business or organization from advertising or providing COVID-19 testing.

For more specific information visit NC Department of Health and Human Services website at