Masks will no longer be required outside in North Carolina starting Friday, among other changes the governor announced at a news conference.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced the new executive order Wednesday afternoon.
Starting Friday, indoor mass gathering limits will also increase to 100 people, and the limit for outdoor gatherings will be set at 200 people.
The indoor mask mandate remains in place, but Cooper said the state plans to lift it when two-thirds of adults in North Carolina have at least one dose of the COVID vaccine. So far around 49% of adults in the state have gotten at least one shot.
"Even though we're continuing our dimmer switch approach of easing restrictions, we need to stay vigilant," the gonernor said. "In addition to indoor masks, many of our strong safety requirements remain in place for public places, including social distancing and capacity limits, which are important."
The governor spoke on April 21 and announced he planned to lift most social distancing, capacity and gathering limits by June 1. The state has had gathering and capacity limits for more than a year in order to slow the spread of the virus.