Things to Do

Charlotte Moves to Phase 3, Here’s What You Need to Know

As fall rolls in, North Carolina moved into Phase 3, which started Friday, October 2 at 5 p.m. With this re-opening phase, some new types of businesses are able to open.

Charlotte Convention Center - Photography by Cody Hughes

Here’s what’s changing from Phase 2.5:

  • Large, outdoor venues (over 10,000) can open at 7% capacity along with other restrictions.
  • Smaller, outdoor venues (under 10,000) can open at 30% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Attractions like hayrides and trolleys can operate at 30% capacity.
  • Amusement parks can open outdoor attractions only at 30% capacity.
  • Movie theaters can open at 30% or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Other seated indoor venues like music halls, nightclubs, lounges, arenas and theaters can reopen but are subject to the mass gathering limitations for indoor seating (25 people) and the reduced capacity limits for outdoor spaces (30% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer).
  • Bars can open with outdoor seating only at 30% of their outdoor capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer. Patrons are not allowed to consume alcohol indoors or use indoor bar amenities like pool tables or darts.
  • Reception venues, meeting halls and conference spaces, including the Charlotte Convention Center, can host events at 30% capacity or a maximum of 100 people, along with other restrictions.
Queen Park Social - Photography by Kate Magee

The capacity regulations for restaurants, retail shops, salons, gyms, bowling alleys, museums and other establishments remain the same. Restrictions on gathering sizes also remain the same, with groups of 50 people outdoors and 25 people indoors allowed. And, the 11 p.m. curfew on alcohol sales has also been extended.

All visitors and locals of North Carolina are still required to wear a mask when social distancing isn’t possible. As a reminder, here are the “Ws” to follow while visiting Charlotte:

  • Wear a mask covering your face (mask mandates are still in effect).
  • Wait six feet apart and avoid close contact.
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds as often as possible.

Visit our COVID-19 Resources page for more information.

In this executive order, the governor reminded those that are considered at risk that they should still follow the guidelines of “safer-at-home” orders.

Here are a few new ways to explore Charlotte and support local businesses in this next phase of re-opening:

Movie Theaters


The Ayrsley Grand Cinemas, Charlotte’s only locally-owned and independent theater reopened on Friday; stay tuned for potential details on the theater’s annual Retro Horror Series. The Carolina Mall Cinema 8 in Concord has been open as a drive-in theater but now you can enjoy new movies inside the theater on October 2. And on October 9, the Cinemark Movie Bistro Charlotte in Matthews is set to reopen.

Outdoor Venues & Activities

Bank of America Stadium

In Phase 3, large outdoor venues like Bank of America Stadium can open at 7% capacity with select sporting events, like Panthers games, allowing fans. While Truist Field doesn’t have Charlotte Knights games this year, the field is open for special events, like movie showings, this fall.



Enjoy a drink outdoors at Hattie’s in Plaza Midwood. The neighborhood bar has two patios is ready to serve patrons this weekend after being closed for six months. Roxbury Nightclub is also set to open this weekend at reduced capacity and with reserved seating.

Phase 3 will expire on Friday, October 23 at 5 p.m. with the possibility of an extension. This is the last formal phase outlined by the governor earlier this year. It’s unlikely that there will be a full transition to normal until there is a vaccine, but capacity restrictions may be lifted after the current orders expire.

So, continue to practice social distancing and wear a mask while enjoying your favorite outdoor activities and some new indoor ones.