As I’m sure you’ve all heard, Governor Cooper issued Executive Order 181 yesterday afternoon.  A copy of the EO and accompanying FAQs is attached.  EO181 goes into effect at 5:00pm on Friday, Dec 11, and remains in effect until 5:00pm on Friday, Jan 8, 2021.  Bulleted below are highlights of EO181:

What is New under EO181:

  • Stay at Home for High-Risk Individuals: High-risk individuals (those over age 65 or any person with serious underlying medical conditions) are strongly encouraged to stay at home and travel only for essential purposes.
  • Business Nighttime Closure: Certain categories of businesses and facilities must close from 10:00pm to 5:00am (nighttime closure requirement).  The nighttime closure requirement applies to:
    • Amusement Parks
    • Bars, nightspots, and indoor arenas
    • Fitness facilities
    • Movie theaters, meeting spaces, and entertainment facilities
    • Museums and aquariums
    • Parks
    • Personal care and grooming businesses
    • Pools
    • Restaurants
    • Retail businesses
    • Exemptions from the nighttime closure requirement include retail businesses that sell groceries, health care supplies, and fuels.  Restaurants may remain open past 10:00pm for take-out and delivery service only.
  • Alcohol Sales: Alcohol sales for on-site consumption are prohibited from 9:00pm to 7:00am.
  • Nighttime Events: Events or convenings outside the home must end by 10:00pm and all guests must leave and travel home.  Professional and collegiate sports events may continue past 10:00pm.
  • Nighttime Travel Restrictions (“Curfew”):  Except for limited exceptions, a statewide curfew is imposed from 10:00pm to 5:00am (exceptions to the curfew include: professional and collegiate sports events, religious services, law enforcement and other first responders, travel for required work, obtaining groceries, medical care, fuel, health care supplies, and taking care of a family member, friend, or pet)

What Remains the Same Under EO181:

  • Mandatory face covering requirement (the application of the mandatory face covering requirement to collegiate athletes remains the same – wearing face coverings is encouraged but not required when collegiate athletes are strenuously exercising or recovering from exercise and athletes are participating in a sport that is under conference oversight requiring COVID-19 risk reduction protocols).
  • Good faith effort on the part of employers to provide face coverings to employees.
  • Occupancy limits on indoor stadiums, arenas, and other similar venues (25 guest limit; so far as System Office is aware, the previous guidance from DHHS permitting up to 2 parents/family members per student athlete participating in the sport in addition to the 25-guest limit remains the same).
  • Occupancy limits on very large outdoor facilities.
  • Occupancy limits on other categories of business and retail establishments.
  • Mass gathering restriction (10 people indoors and 50 people outdoors) – the exception for educational institutions and governmental operations remains the same, as do the occupancy limits for indoor stadiums and very large outdoor facilities.