Charlotte’s retailers can reopen Friday evening. But will they?

After almost two months of quarantine, on Tuesday Gov. Roy Cooper confirmed plans to begin reopening North Carolina on Friday evening. To ensure safe practices, social distancing will remain common, and there will be requirements for reduced capacity.

“COVID-19 is still a serious threat to our state, and Phase 1 is designed to be a limited easing of restrictions that can boost parts of our economy while keeping important safety rules in place,” Cooper said. “This is a careful and deliberate first step, guided by the data, and North Carolinians still must use caution while the virus is circulating.”

Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of the NC Department of Health and Human Services, advises we should follow the three W’s when leaving home: wear a face covering, wash your hands and remain 6 feet away from other shoppers.

Phase 1 removes the distinction between essential and non-essential businesses. Retail businesses will

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