CHARLOTTE — North Carolina’s mask mandate, which is meant to help stop the spread of COVID-19, goes into effect at 5 p.m. Friday.
People in the state will have to wear masks in public places indoors and outdoors when physical distancing is not possible. There are exceptions.
It will affect businesses and its employees and customers.
It will be mostly up to stores and businesses to ensure people are following the rules.
Most restaurants have prepared for this day with signs on the doors. Some stores even have a person standing at the door, reminding customers to put on a mask before they walk inside.
Brandon Smith was eating a meal at the Blaze Pizza in South End with his family Friday. As he ate, the restaurant was preparing by putting signs all over, warning people about the new order.
“I guess I’m here enjoying the last few seconds of not having to wear one until the clock strikes 5,” Smith said.
Channel 9 learned that many businesses will offer a free mask to customers who forget.
“We have signs on the door stating that masks are required,” said Erica Scott, Blaze Pizza general manager. “We’re also going to have an employee to greet guests as they come in, just as a reminder that it is required by law to wear masks.”
Places like Five Church and The Crunkleton are giving very specific instructions.
Five Church said to customers, “Have your mask on upon arrival and continue to wear it until you are seated.”
The Crunkleton said, “If you’re headed to the restroom or exiting the restaurant, please wear your mask.”
“Of course, if they refuse we have to refuse service. Hopefully, it won’t be that bad,” Scott said.
But others like Bang Bang Burger in South End said they still aren’t sure how they plan to handle customers who refuse to wear a mask. They are hoping people will automatically cooperate.
“On one hand I think you have the right in America to do what you want to do. Or maybe shouldn’t be mandatory,” Smith said.
Regardless, Smith said he plans to obey the law.
“I think it could be good to slow the spread of COVID19. I don’t want to go out catch it and bring it home to a newborn family member,” Smith said.
Channel 9 saw most people entering restaurants Friday already wearing masks.
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