Gov. Roy Cooper announced recently that North Carolina will move into what is being called Phase 2.5 of reopening, however, bars are still left in the dark.
“It feels like the pandemic is ending for everyone else but us,” said Eryk Pruitt, co-owner of the Yonder Bar in Hillsborough. “There’s an entire industry being left behind.” Added Stefan Huebner, co-owner of Dot Dot Dot: “At the end of the day, all we want is a fair playing field.”
Public health officials, according to the Charlotte Business Journal, have said bars present a “high risk of viral spread due to lowered inhibitions and the tendency of people to crowd together while drinking alcohol and talking, singing and dancing.” For that reason, the state’s restaurants also have an 11 p.m. curfew on alcohol sales that extends through Oct. 2.
Aside from bars and nightclubs, businesses that must remain closed in “Phase 2.5” include arcades, movie theaters, amusement parks, pool halls and more.