The North Carolina Retail Merchants Association (NCRMA) issued the following statement from Andy Ellen, president and general counsel, regarding Executive Order 147 issued by Governor Roy Cooper and the face covering requirement included.
“The main concern for all retailers has and continues to be the health and safety of their employees and their customers. At 5:00 pm today, Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order requires customers to wear a face covering while in a retail establishment or restaurant.
Since the onset of the COVID-19, retailers have made wide-ranging changes in their operations with safety in mind. They have incorporated social distancing procedures and worked tirelessly to keep stores open, shelves stocked, and carts sanitized. Many have shortened hours to institute stringent cleaning processes. Additionally, there are many stores that were closed for weeks and are struggling to recover from the shutdown and they are anxiously awaiting customers to return to shop. These businesses need your help both economically and with compliance with the face covering requirement. These businesses simply cannot afford a civil penalty or a criminal penalty because of customers not abiding by Governor Cooper’s Order.
We ask you to be patient with retailers and their employees as you go out to shop in the coming days and weeks, as they continue to navigate these unprecedented challenges. Please wear a mask or face covering and be considerate if you are asked to do so when you are shopping. Also, we can’t all know the reason another customer isn’t wearing a mask, such as due to a health condition, so be kind to each other.”