COVID-19 Updates

We understand you may have questions regarding COVID-19, therefore we recommend that visitors follow trusted sources like the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) FAQ page. and Centers for Disease Control's Situation Summary website.

Effective March 2022

Indoor Mask Mandate Dropped

Individuals no longer will be required to wear a mask indoors, but businesses and venues still have the power to enforce their own mask mandates. The county health director recommends people who are vulnerable to continue wearing high-quality N95 masks. People will still have to follow federal regulations, which means a mask in certain health care settings and public transportation, such as the light rail, in airports and on planes.

Effective as of August 31

Face Coverings Required in Indoor Public Places 

​To address the COVID-19 virus and the Delta variant, the Board of County Commissioners is issuing a Public Health Rule that requires all people to wear face coverings in any indoor public place, business, or establishment within Mecklenburg County, regardless of vaccination status. This requirement applies to all individuals who are at least five years of age in all areas of the County including all towns and the City of Charlotte. The rule will expire based on metrics.

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Effective as of May 14

Gov. Roy Cooper lifts all mandatory capacity and gathering limits, social distancing requirements, and most mandatory mask requirements

The move, effective immediately, means that in most settings indoors or outdoors the state will no longer require you to wear a mask or be socially distant. Cooper said there will continue to be a mandatory indoor mask requirement on public transportation, in child care, in schools, in prisons and in certain public health settings.

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Effective as of April 30

North Carolina Ends Outdoor Mask Mandate and Increases Mass Gathering Limits

Executive order is in effect from Friday, April 30 at 5pm through June 1 at 5pm. The governor also reiterated his intent to end all capacity and distancing restrictions starting on June 1, which would allow all arts venues to open at 100% capacity.

  • Mask use is still required for everyone indoors, and recommended outdoors for anyone that is not fully vaccinated
  • Increases mass gathering indoor limits to 100 and outdoor limit to 200 people
  • Museums, performance venues, and other arts facilities will still be subject to current capacity restrictions
  • Face masks will still be required in indoor public places


  • Announced April 21

Lifted restrictions anticipated

Gov. Cooper announced that with increasing vaccination rates, he anticipates being able to lift all capacity, social distancing and mass gathering restrictions by June 1. More to be announced next week about what executive order will take place in May.

Effective as of March 26

COVID-19 restrictions will ease this week, allowing for max capacity limits at some places.

The new executive order will begin for North Carolina at 5 p.m. Friday, March 26, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday.

  • The following places will be able to increase capacity up to 100% capacity: retail businesses, salons and museums
  • The following places will be able to operate at 75% capacity indoors and 100% outdoors: restaurants, wineries, breweries, amusement parks, gyms, pools and recreation establishments
  • Other places will be able to increase capacity to 50% indoors and outdoors: bars, conference centers, reception venues, sports arenas and live performance venues
  • Effective at 5 p.m. Friday, the 11 p.m. curfew for on-site alcohol consumption will be lifted. Mass gathering limits will be increased to 50 indoors and 100 outdoors

Effective as February 26

North Carolina Lifts Modified Stay-At-Home Order and Allows Bars to Reopen Indoor Service

Gov. Roy Cooper announced North Carolina will be lifting modified Stay-At-Home order effective on February 26 at 5pm. This order will allow bars to reopen indoor service at 30% capacity and alcohol can now be sold for onsite consumption until 11pm. The statewide mask mandate will continue. Other easing of restrictions are below. For more information, please click here

  • Gyms, museums, aquariums, barbershops, pools, outdoor amusement parks, retail establishments, restaurants, breweries and wineries will be able to open at 50% capacity with health and safety protocols
  • Sports fields and venues, stadiums, outdoor bars, outdoor amusement parks and other outdoor businesses can operate at 30% capacity without the 100-person limit
  • Bars and taverns, indoor amusement parks, movie theaters, indoor sports arenas and others can operate at 30% capacity with a 250-person limit

Effective as of January 29

North Carolina Remains in a Modified Stay-At-Home Order and Extends Cocktails-To-Go Executive Order

Gov. Roy Cooper announced North Carolina will remain in a modified Stay-At-Home order until February 28. The executive order that allows bars and restaurants to sell cocktails to-go has been extended until March 31.

Effective as of January 8

North Carolina Remains in a Modified Stay-At-Home Order

Gov. Roy Cooper announced North Carolina will remain in a modified Stay-At-Home order, which will require people to stay at home between 10pm and 5am until at least January 29.

Effective as of December 21

North Carolina Allows To-Go or Delivery Sales for Mixed Beverages

Gov. Roy Cooper announced North Carolina will allow to-go or delivery sales for mixed beverages from restaurants and bars through January 31, 2021.The modified Stay-At-Home order remains in effect and the sale of alcohol for on-site consumption must still cease at 9pm. 

Effective as of December 11

North Carolina Enters a Modified Stay-At-Home Order

Gov. Roy Cooper announced North Carolina will enter a modified Stay-At-Home order, which will require people to stay at home between 10pm and 5am. Businesses including restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, personal care businesses, and most retail stores will be required to close by 10pm. Travel to and from work; to obtain food, medical care, fuel or social services; or to take care of a family member is exempted. The alcohol sales curfew is now 9pm, two hours earlier from the previous curfew. For more information, please click here.

Effective as of November 13

North Carolina Remains in Phase 3

Gov. Roy Cooper announced North Carolina will remain in Phase 3 until at least December 4. Indoor gathering limits have decreased to 10 people, down from the previous limit of 25. 

Effective as of October 2

North Carolina Moves into Phase 3

Gov. Roy Cooper announced North Carolina will move into Phase 3 at 5 p.m. Friday. This is the final step of Cooper's three-part plan to reopen businesses and resume social activities during the pandemic.

Limits that will change under Phase 3:

  • Large outdoor venues with seating greater than 10,000 can operate at 7% capacity.
  • Bars, nightclubs and dance halls can operate outdoors only at 30% capacity or 100 customers, whichever is less.
  • Music halls and venues for live performances can operate at 30% capacity of 100 customers, whichever is less.
  • Movie theaters can operate at 30% capacity or 100 customers per movie screening, whichever is less.
  • The outdoor parts of amusement parks can operate at 30% capacity.

Current limits that will remain the same under Phase 3:

  • Alcohol sales for on-site consumption are banned after 11 p.m.
  • The North Carolina face mask mandate is still in place.
  • Mass gathering limits remains at 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.

This executive order will be in place unless otherwise changed or its expiration date on Friday Oct. 23. To read the full executive order, click here.

Announced September 22

Governor Cooper Announces Additional $40 Million COVID Relief for Small Businesses

If your business has experienced extraordinary business disruption and not been able to open due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the new Mortgage, Utility and Rent Relief (MURR) Program may be able to offer assistance with some of your fixed costs. Eligible applicants include the list below. Please click here to see if you are eligible for this assistance. 

  • Amusement parks
  • Banquet Halls (with catering staff)
  • Bars, taverns, night clubs, cocktail lounges
  • Bingo parlors
  • Bowling alleys/centers
  • Dance halls
  • Indoor fitness and recreation centers
  • Motion picture/movie theaters (except drive-ins)
  • Museums

Announced September 17 (Effective as of October 5)

Public Schools Able to Implement Plan A for Elementary Schools

Governor Roy Cooper announced that beginning on October 5, North Carolina public school districts and charter schools can choose to implement Plan A for elementary schools (grades K-5). Plan A continues to include important safety measures like face coverings for all students, teachers and staff, social distancing, and symptom screening, but does not require schools to reduce the number of children in the classroom.

Read More     |     Requirements for Opening

Effective as of September 1

Moving into Phase 2.5

North Carolina will take a modest step forward move into Phase 2.5 starting Friday, September 4th at 5pm. Mask mandates and other prevention methods remain in effect and are even more important to contain the virus. 

Phase 2.5 means the following for North Carolina:

  • Mass gathering limits will increase to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors from the current limit of 10 indoors and 25 outdoors. 
  • Playgrounds may open. 
  • Museums and aquariums may open at 50% capacity. 
  • Gyms and indoor exercise facilities, such as yoga studios, martial arts, and rock climbing, as well as skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor basketball, volleyball etc., may open at 30% capacity. 
  • Bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, indoor entertainment facilities, amusement parks, dance halls will remain closed. 
  • Large venues remain subject to the mass gathering limits. 
  • 11pm curfew on alcohol sales at restaurants extended to October 2nd.
  • Age requirement for masks includes children down to age 5.
  • Capacity limits at restaurants and personal care businesses (hair, nail salons, etc.) will stay the same.

Read more

Effective as of August 5

Phase 2 Extended

Gov. Roy Cooper said North Carolina’s COVID-19 restrictions keeping high-risk businesses closed and mass gatherings severely limited will remain in place for another five weeks. Cooper announced Wednesday that the state will not be moving into Phase 3 on Friday, Aug. 7, when his extension was set to expire, but instead will remain in Phase 2 until Sept. 11. 

The new order means bars, gyms, movie theaters and amusement parks — places where people are usually in closer contact — will now be closed for nearly six straight months. Gatherings are still limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, with some exceptions.

Effective as of July 29

CMS Changes School Reopening Plan; Opts for 'Plan C': Full Remote Learning

After reviewing data, CMS has changed its course on the district’s reopening plans for the upcoming school year. CMS called an emergency meeting on Thursday to announce that schools will begin the 2020-21 school year with “Plan C,” the fully remote option. The new reopening plans were voted on by the school board, and it passed unanimously. Students will start fully remote instruction beginning Aug. 17, and will continue until it is safe to enter the school buildings and be near their peers, according to CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston. 

The former plan, “Plan B + Remote,”, was designed to send students back to school for two weeks of in-person instruction, and then move to fully remote after that. Now, CMS has chosen to forego allowing students and staff back into the buildings until further notice.

Effective as of July 23

Late-night Alcohol Sales Curfew

Late-night alcohol sales will be limited in Charlotte and some surrounding towns to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The new business proclamation that was signed by county officials along with leaders in Charlotte, Matthews, Davidson, Mint Hill and Pineville bans onsite food and drink consumption after 11pm in places that serve alcohol. Restaurants that serve alcohol will only be able to offer takeout and delivery after 11pm. Restaurants, breweries, wine shops, private clubs, bars, and any other business can't sell alcohol for onsite consumption between 11pm-7am. 

For more info on the alcohol sales restriction, click here.

Effective as of July 20

Iredell-Statesville Schools Reopen Under 'Plan B'

On July 14, 2020, Governor Cooper announced that schools would be allowed to reopen under the direction of Plan B. This plan allows schools the ability to reopen under a hybrid model that limits student capacity at each campus site. While districts may select to move forward with a more restricted model (Plan C), the option to still allow limited face-to-face instruction (Plan B) was adopted by Iredell-Statesville Schools. The Iredell-Statesville Schools Board of Education voted unanimously on July 20, 2020, to approve our system to open under Plan B with the option for parents to select Plan C if desired. Parents have the option to explore virtual options through their child’s school or take part in iACADEMY through a homeschool/public school partnership.

For a full comprehensive summary of the 2020-2021 school year, click here.

Effective as of July 14

Schools Will Open for Both In-person and Remote Learning; NC Remains in Phase 2

NC Back to School Plan

Gov. Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina schools will reopen in August under “Plan B,” allowing both in-person and remote learning. The “Plan B” approach lets students participate in a mix of in-classroom and remote learning. This plan involves some students potentially rotating schedules, with some students not coming onto campus at all. Schools will also be allowed the option of completely virtual learning, as laid out in N.C.‘s “Plan C.”

Face coverings will be required for every teacher, staff and student from kindergarten through high school. To help, the state will provide at least five reusable face coverings for every student, teacher and staff member. The state has already delivered a two-month supply of thermometers and medical-grade equipment for school nurses.

Cooper also announced that when the current executive order expires July 17, NC will remain under Phase 2 for three weeks.

For more guidance on school reopenings and safety measures being taken, click here.

For frequently asked questions about school reopenings, click here.

Effective as of June 24

NC Pauses in Safer at Home Phase 2 & Adds Statewide Requirement for Face Coverings

"As trends move in the wrong direction, North Carolina will not yet move into Phase 3. Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen today announced that North Carolina will remain in Safer at Home Phase 2 for three more weeks. Cooper also announced that face coverings must be worn when people are in public places as officials seek to stabilize concerning trends of increasing viral spread. 

Growing evidence shows that cloth face coverings, when worn consistently, can decrease the spread of COVID-19, especially among people who are not yet showing symptoms of the virus. Until now, face coverings had been strongly recommended. Under today’s executive order, people must wear face coverings when in public places where physical distancing is not possible. 

In addition, certain businesses must have employees and customers wear face coverings, including retail businesses, restaurants, personal care and grooming; employees of child care centers and camps; state government agencies under the Governor’s Cabinet; workers and riders of transportation; and workers in construction/trades, manufacturing, agriculture, meat processing and healthcare and long-term care settings."

Read the full article here.


Executive Order No. 147 does not require Face Coverings to be worn by a worker, customer, or patron who:

1. Should not wear a Face Covering due to any medical or behavioral condition or disability (including, but not limited to, any person who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious or incapacitated, or is otherwise unable to put on or remove the face covering without assistance)
2. Is under eleven (11) years of age
3. Is actively eating or drinking
4. Is strenuously exercising
5. Is seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired in a way that requires the mouth to be visible
6. Is giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience
7. Is working at home or is in a personal vehicle
8. Is temporarily removing his or her Face Covering to secure government or medical services or for identification purposes
9. Would be at risk from wearing a Face Covering at work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulations or workplace safety guidelines
10. Has found that his or her Face Covering is impeding visibility to operate equipment or a vehicle
11. Is a child whose parent, guardian, or responsible person has been unable to place the Face Covering safely on the child's face.

The NC Department of Health & Human Services have put together The Prevent and Protect Media Toolkit containing resources to empower community partners and small businesses to communicate about the cloth coverings state requirement to protect loved ones, employees and customers. It includes:

·         Social media graphics answering basic questions about wearing coverings over the mouth and nose. 

·         Posters for businesses and community organizations to print and hang that remind people to wear cloth coverings over their nose and mouth and celebrate the commitment businesses in your community have made to protect employees and customers. We encourage you to place the posters in your breakrooms, waiting rooms, building entrances or doors, and other frequented locations. 

In addition to materials about cloth coverings, there are social media posts and images, infographics, customizable flyers, and more to get the word out about preventative measures (3Ws), testing and contact tracing and help North Carolinians protect themselves and their loved ones against the spread of COVID-19. The NC DHHS will continue to update the page with new materials, so check back often. All materials are available in English and Spanish.  


Effective as of May 22

Safer at Home Phase 2

Effective as of May 1

A statewide stay-at-home order that went into effect on March 30 is due to expire on Friday, May 8, and Phase 1 of reopening will begin. According to details in the plan, North Carolinians have flattened the curve and slowed the rate of acceleration in COVID-19 cases enough to do so.

COVID Phase One Chart

Phase 1 of Reopening North Carolina

Phase 1 begins May 8.

Certain restrictions will remain in place to keep social distancing efforts a top priority for society. Changes in the order include:

• People can leave their homes for commercial activity.
• Commercial retailers and services will need to implement social distancing policies including cleaning and other protocols.
• Parks can open subject to gathering limits (Mecklenburg County reopened the parking lots at county parks on Thursday.)
• Gatherings will be limited to no more than 10 people.
• Face coverings will be recommended in public.
• Restrictions will remain in place for nursing homes and other congregate-living settings.
• Teleworking will remain highly recommended.

(At least two to three weeks after Phase 1 begins, state officials believe they can enact Phase 2.)

Phase 2 of Reopening North Carolina

Phase 2 begins May 22.

The following changes are planned to be made in Phase 2:

• Lift the stay-at-home order with a strong encouragement for vulnerable populations to continue staying at home.
• It will allow the limited opening of restaurants, bars and other businesses. They will follow strict safety protocols such as reduced capacity and social distancing.
• Allowing gatherings at houses of worship and entertainment venues at reduced capacities.
• Allow an increase in number of people allowed at gatherings
• Open public playgrounds
• Continue restrictions on nursing homes and congregate-living settings

(The next phase is nearly a full reopening of the state, except for the nursing homes.)

Phase 3 of Reopening North Carolina

Phase 3 could begin as soon as June 20.

The final phase includes the following changes:

• Lessen restrictions for vulnerable populations with encouragement to continue practicing physical distancing.
• Allow increased capacity at restaurants, bars, other businesses, houses of worship and entertainment venues.
• Further increase the number of people allowed at gatherings.
• Continue restrictions on nursing homes and congregate-living settings

Effective as of April 29
Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation is loosening some restrictions tomorrow as part of the County’s transition to North Carolina’s Stay at Home Proclamation.

Effective April 30, parking lots for parks, greenways, and nature preserves will reopen for vehicles, instead of simply walk-in and bicycle access. In addition, boat ramps at Ramsey Creek, Blythe Landing and Copperhead Island will reopen.

Tennis will be allowed in County parks that follow safety rules and restrictions provided by the United States Tennis Association (USTA). Tennis players and all park patrons should observe the CDC's recommended social distancing guideline of at least six feet between individuals, and when that is not possible, wear a face mask.

Golf is still allowed with restrictions of only one person per golf cart and social distancing. County driving ranges are still closed.

Park playgrounds, sports courts, restrooms, and fields for group sports will remain closed. High contact sports like basketball, soccer and volleyball as well as softball/baseball are not permitted.

Indoor facilities like recreation, nature, and aquatic centers will also remain closed to the public until further notice.

Visitors cannot congregate in groups larger than 10.

For more information, go to

Effective as of April 23, 2020
Governor Roy Cooper extends Stay At Home Order until May 8th and shared a three-phased approach, based on data, to lift restrictions.

Effective as of April 8, 2020
Mecklenburg Parks and Recreation: Park gates are closed to vehicles. Parks and greenways are available for walk-in and bicycle use only.

Effective as of March 30, 2020
Governor Roy Cooper issued a Stay at Home Order that will stay in place for 30 days or until it is repealed, replaced or rescinded by another executive order. The order directs residents to stay at home unless you need to leave for essentials such as a job, food, medicine, outdoor exercise or to help someone. For FAQ's, please click here

Effective as of March 26, 2020
Mecklenburg County has issued a "Stay at Home" Order and will remain in effect until April 16, 2020. The order will require county residents to remain in their homes in an attempt to reduce the number of new COVID-19 infections within the county. Exceptions will be allowed for those seeking medical treatment, buying food or exercising outdoors. Please click here for general FAQ of a "Stay at Home" Order.

Effective as of March 17, 2020
Governor Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina restaurants and bars must close except for takeout and delivery orders. Visit Lake Norman has been working hard to provide local residents and visitors a list of restaurants offering takeout, curbside pickup, and delivery orders along with updated hours of operation. Several attractions in the area have closed temporarily to help fight the spread of Coronavirus, however Visit Lake Norman has also built a list of places in the area that are still open while following the mandate of prohibiting gatherings of 10 people or more.

General Tourism Efforts

To help soften the blow of COVID-19 on the local economy, we urge people to purchase gift cards from local restaurants and attractions. As so many restaurant staff rely heavily on tips, generous tips are encouraged as the restaurant industry begins to cope with the impact of the pandemic. The North Carolina Employment Security Division is publishing instructions and guidance to help you understand new changes to the state’s unemployment system, due to the overall current impacts of COVID-19 in the state. Now is the time to advocate for federal and state programs that will provide assistance to the tourism industry. Both the U.S. Travel Association and the NC Restaurant & Lodging Association can assist with getting your message to elected officials.

Hotels are encouraged to enroll for the Emergency Lodging Assistance (ELA) Program. The CLC Lodging (CLC) processes payments on behalf of FEMA to hotels housing eligible guests who are displaced by a disaster. Lodging providers may contact the ELA Lodging Support Center at 866-545-9865 for assistance with enrollment (Monday through Friday 8AM – 5PM CST). There is no cost to participate.

MeckCares Small Business Relief Grant

Mecklenburg County has been awarded funding as a grantee of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding. The County is providing to $1.25 Million to fill identified capital access challenges faced by small businesses. This funding will provide financial support to sustain small businesses as they strive to remain open as COVID-19 continues to negatively impact the local economy. Funding will be available until November 27, 2020 or until all funds have been disbursed to approved applicants. See if your small business is eligible to receive funding here.

Rapid Recovery Loans

Golden Leaf Foundation and the NC Rural Center have introduced a new loan program called NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loans. This rapid recovery loan is designed to provide businesses with the capital they need before federal loans and insurance payouts are approved. If interested in filling out an application, please click here. Also for any questions, call 1-800-228-8443 for the BLNC team for any questions finding loans and the NC Business Relief Resources website.

Helpful Links

  • Find COVID-19 Testing Sites here
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the webFacebookTwitterYouTube or Instagram
  • Sign up for weekly email updates about the CDC’s public health work
  • World Health Organization on the web
  • N.C. Division of Public Health (NCDPH) on the web or Twitter
  • Call the NCDPH Helpline toll free at 1-866-462-3821 with questions or concerns
  • Mecklenburg County (NC) Public Health (MCPH) department’s webpage for updates
  • Call the MCPH information line at 1-980-314-9400 with questions
  • Sign up for CharMeck Alerts, the region’s emergency and non-emergency alert system
  • The City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County on Twitter