Updated: May 22, 2020
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 121
Most businesses in the State have been permitted to reopen if specific protocols are followed as set forth in the new Order. Retail businesses must, among other restrictions, limit customer occupancy to the lesser of 50% of the fire capacity or the number of people such that everyone can stay 6 feet apart. Restaurants, personal care, grooming, and tattoo business are permitted to open for on-premises consumption of food and services if a lengthy list of protocols is followed. Entertainment and fitness facilities are to remain closed. People are strongly encouraged to telework to the greatest extent permitted by employers.
Updated: May 8, 2020
Most businesses in the State have been permitted to reopen if specific protocols are followed as set forth in the new Order. However, a fairly long list of businesses, mostly those which require close-contact or are centered around entertainment, must remain closed. Such businesses include barber shops, tattoo parlors, concert venues, bowling alleys, and theaters. Notably, retail businesses must, among other restrictions, limit customer occupancy to 50% of the fire capacity. All business that operate are strongly encouraged to promote telework, continue social distancing, and limit face-to-face meetings to no more than 10 workers.
Updated: April 24, 2020
EXECUTIVE ORDER 121 EXTENDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER 135 THROUGH MAY 8, 2020 AT 5:00PM
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 121
North Carolina Executive Order No. 121 requires (1) all individuals within the State to stay at home except for Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Operations, or to participate in or access COVID-19 Essential Businesses and Operations, and (2) all businesses and operations in the State, except COVID-19 Essential Businesses and Operations, are required to cease all activities within the State except Minimum Basic Operations, Essential Businesses and Operations, however, shall continue to operate. The order references the CISA Essential Critical Infrastructure list and also identifies additional industries and businesses that are specifically included as essential businesses and operations under the order. Noteworthy is that Essential Businesses and Operations include any businesses, not-for-profit organizations or educational institutions that conduct operations while maintaining Social Distancing Requirements.
Summary of Order
- Issued on March 27, 2020.
- The order is effective as of March 30, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. local time, and remains in effect for thirty (30) days, unless repealed, replaced, or rescinded by another applicable Executive Order.
- All businesses and operations in the State, except those on the CISA Essential Critical Infrastructure list or other enumerated Essential Businesses and Operations, are required to cease activities within the State.
- Businesses may request a determination from the NC Department of Revenue that they are an “essential business”
- A “COVID-19 Essential Business and Operation” includes the following businesses, not-for-profit organizations and educational institutions:
- Businesses, not-for-profit organizations or educational institutions that conduct operations while maintaining Social Distancing Requirements.
- Essential infrastructure
- Coal mining and coal-fired electric generation facilities
- Manufacture, distribution and supply chain for critical products and industries
- Transportation and travel related businesses and gas stations
- Financial and insurance institutions
- Hardware and supply stores
- Critical trades
- Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery, and pick-up services
- Religious entities
- Educational institutions
- Laundry services
- Supplies to work from home
- Supplies for Essential Businesses and Operations
- Home-based care and services
- Residential facilities and shelters
- Professional services
- Media and first amendment protected speech
- Hotels and motels
- Funeral services Additional COVID-19
- Additional Essential Retail Businesses.
- Electronic retailers that sell or service cell phones, computers, tablets, and other communications technology;
- Lawn and garden equipment retailers;
- Book stores that sell educational material;
- Beer, wine, and liquor stores;
- Retail functions of gas stations and convenience stores;
- Retail located within healthcare facilities;
- Pet and feed stores.
Social Distancing Requirements
- For purposes of the order, social distancing means staying home whenever possible and otherwise maintaining a six feet distance from other individuals.
- Businesses operating within the CISA critical sectors should take proactive measures to ensure compliance with social distancing recommendations, including:
- Designate six-foot distances.
- Having hand sanitizer and sanitizing products readily available for employees and customers.
- Implementing separate operating hours for elderly and vulnerable customers.
- Posting online whether a facility is open and how best to reach the facility and continue services by phone or remotely.
- The order indicates that it may be enforced by State and local law enforcement.
- A violation of the Executive Order may be subject to prosecution pursuant to NC statutes and is punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor.
- The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) published by the Office of the Governors states
- Governor Cooper is seeking voluntary cooperation from all state residents and businesses to ensure the health and safety of our communities. If voluntary cooperation is not achieved, state and local law enforcement officers have the authority to enforce the Order.
- To the extent that a local order contains more restrictive requirements, the more restrictive local Order must be followed.
Critical infrastructure sectors listed in CISA guidance (check list at link above for detailed list of worker functions):
- Healthcare / Public Health
- Law Enforcement, Public Safety, and Other First Responders
- Food and Agriculture
- Energy — Natural Gas, Natural Gas Liquids (NGL), Propane, and Other Liquid Fuels
- Water and Wastewater
- Transportation and Logistics
- Public Works and Infrastructure Support Services
- Communications and Information Technology
- Other Community- or Government-Based Operations and Essential Functions
- Critical Manufacturing
- Hazardous Materials
- Financial Services
- Defense Industrial Base
- Commercial Facilities
- Residential/Shelter Facilities and Services
- Hygiene Products and Services