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
- Personal care and grooming businesses
- 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.