Effective May 14, 2021, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper lifted all mandatory capacity and gathering limits, social distancing requirements and most mandatory mask requirements. This directive means that in most situations in North Carolina – both indoors and outdoors – masks are no longer required to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
The following are the only places where masks are still mandatory: in airports, on public transportation, in child care, schools, prisons, and in certain public health settings. Cooper said people who are not fully vaccinated are still strongly urged to wear face coverings indoors and around crowds.
Cooper's new executive order immediately ends all mandatory limits on gathering sizes, along with all capacity restrictions on businesses and organizations.
The governor had intended to lift most mandatory social distancing, capacity and mass gathering restrictions by June 1, but pivoted to an executive order on May 14, one day after President Biden and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) lifted most restrictions at the national level.
On May 13, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky proclaimed: “Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities – large or small — without wearing a mask or physically distancing.”
Surry County/Yadkin Valley, NC, has welcomed back visitors since May 22, 2020, when Gov. Cooper began easing the most stringent coronavirus pandemic restrictions. Like other NC destinations, we ask visitors to continue practicing safe hygiene by washing hands frequently for 20 seconds, or by using hand sanitizer, and refraining from venturing into public if experiencing a fever or signs of illness.
North Carolina's color-coded county alert system continues to keep people informed of the level of coronavirus spread in each of the state's 100 counties.