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NCRMA Statement on Executive Order 180 – Face Mask Mandate

RALEIGH, NC – The North Carolina Retail Merchants Association (NCRMA) issued the following statement from Andy Ellen, president and general counsel, regarding the issuance of Executive Order 180 by Governor Roy Cooper implementing additional face covering requirements.

“The main concern for all retailers has and continues to be the health and safety of their employees and their customers. As of today, Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order has strengthened and expanded the requirement for customers to wear a face covering while in a retail establishment or restaurant. In addition, there are cities and towns who have already, or are considering, stricter enforcement of the mask mandate in their localities.

We believe, strongly, that every customer that enters a retail establishment must be wearing a mask. 

Since the onset of 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. Given the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, retailers have also adapted their sales and marketing strategies to ensure they are serving customers safely and effectively by offering new shopping options such as curbside service and delivery.

Additionally, there are many stores that were closed for weeks and are struggling to recover from the shut down 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.

Unfortunately, there have been hostile and tragic events that have occurred simply because a retail employee was doing their job and asked a customer to wear a mask while they shopped. We absolutely do not want any North Carolina retailers or their employees to be the victim of such an incident. 

Simply put, please wear a mask or face covering and be considerate if you are asked to do so when you are shopping. Together, we can make this a happy holiday for everyone.”

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