Phase 1 of a process set forth by Gov. Roy Cooper, Buncombe County will begin lifting Stay Home, Stay Safe restrictions starting May 8 at 5 pm.
People who are at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 are still strongly encouraged to stay home and travel only for absolutely essential purposes in Phase 1, but in general, people may go out for nonessential goods and services from any business that is not closed. The order also strongly recommends practicing social distancing practices and wearing cloth face coverings when outside the home.
- Retail businesses can operate only at 50% capacity. Restaurants and bars are still required to offer only takeout and delivery.
- Retail businesses will be required to screen workers for COVID-19 symptoms and perform frequent sanitation practices.
- Working from home is still encouraged for companies and positions in which it is possible.
- Mass gatherings are still limited to 10 people or fewer, excluding outdoor church and worship services, as long as the group can still adhere to social distancing guidelines. Indoor church services are still limited to no more than 10 people.
- People may travel to another person’s home for social purposes, as long as no more than 10 people gather and the activity occurs outside.
In Phase 1, any business that can adhere to social distancing guidelines will be able to open with the exception of personal care and grooming businesses and entertainment facilities.
These exclusions include, but are not limited to:
- Barber shops
- Beauty salons (including waxing and hair removal centers)
- Hair salons
- Nail salons
- Tattoo parlors
- Tanning salons
- Massage therapists (except that massage therapists may provide medical massage therapy services upon the specific referral of a medical or naturopathic health care provider)
- Bingo parlors
- Bowling alleys
- Indoor exercise facilities (like yoga studios, martial arts facilities, indoor trampoline and rock climbing facilities)
- Health clubs, fitness centers and gyms
- Indoor/outdoor pools
- Live performance venues
- Movie theaters
- Skating rinks
- Gaming and business establishments which allow gaming activities (like video poker, gaming, sweepstakes, video games, arcade games, pinball machines or other computer, electronic or mechanical devices played for amusement)
Additional changes include:
- Child care will now be open for working parents and those seeking work.
- Campgrounds are allowed to operate for 828 area code residents.
- Outdoor sporting events and activities can occur with 10 or fewer participants as long as there is no close contact.
- Libraries can open at 50% capacity.
A few things that will remain the same are:
- Maintaining 6 feet of distance and avoiding close contact with others is still advised.
- Playgrounds are still closed.
- Visitation at long term care facilities is still prohibited.