RALEIGH — The statewide shelter-in-place order that was issued by Gov. Roy Cooper in Executive Order No. 121 to take effect Monday, March 30 at 5 p.m., was eased at 5 p.m. Friday, May 8.

The state has entered into Phase 1of the North Carolina strategy to reopen the state and its economy. During the shelter-in-place order, banks and their branches limited public access to their lobbies and have continued to serve customers through internet banking websites, mobile applications, drive-thrus, and by appointment for those who needed special services or transactions.

While the state of entered Phase 1 on May 8, that does not guarantee that all bank lobbies will be open effective immediately.

“North Carolina bankers are eager to see and visit with their customers again,” said President and CEO Peter Gwaltney. “However, not all banks will have the same procedures and policies for reopening lobbies, so we encourage customers to check with their bank for information and instructions on access during Phase 1.”

The North Carolina Bankers Association requests that bank customers follow the CDC and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services guidelines. Specifically, customers should take the following actions when visiting their bank branch or when meeting with a banker by appointment:

» Call or check your bank’s website first to determine whether a mask is required to visit your bank branch.

» To best adhere to social distancing guidelines, some banks may limit the number of customers in the lobby. If you need to go into your branch lobby, schedule a few extra minutes in case there is a wait to enter the building.

» Maintain good hygiene practices and wash your hands, especially if you have dealt with cash.

» Vulnerable populations should consider calling their financial institution to discuss options for mobile banking or remote services.

It remains important for customers to know that their money is safest in their FDIC-insured bank account. Since 1933, no depositor has ever lost a penny of FDIC-insured funds.

“Banks entered this pandemic from a position of strength and remain committed to helping their communities by assisting in the reopening of the economy in the safest way possible,” Gwaltney said.