NC’s statewide curfew explained

Photo by Anna Shvets | Pexels

Tonight beginning at 10 p.m., Governor Roy Cooper’s executive order No. 181 goes into effect — enacting a nighttime curfew through Jan. 8, 2021 for all non-exempt residents and businesses in the state. Here’s what you need to know about the modified stay-at-home + early closure order.

Why are we doing this?

What’s changing?

  • Businesses not listed in the exempted categories of healthcare, childcare, transportation, and government services must close by 10 p.m. Grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations are also permitted to remain open past this time.
  • Bars and restaurants must stop alcohol sales by 9 p.m. Grocery stores are permitted to sell alcohol past this time.
    Events — including live performances, weddings, movie screenings, and amateur sports eventsmust conclude by 10 p.m. + guests must go directly home or to their place of accommodation.
  • Except for individuals who must travel for work, personal safety, to care for a family member, to purchase groceries, to obtain medical care, or to travel to another state, all NC residents in all counties must observe a nightly stay-at-home order from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Individuals experiencing homelessness or domestic violence situations are exempt from this order. See details of all the exempted categories here

What’s staying the same?

  • Individuals considered high-risk for contracting the COVID-19 virus (including those with severe medical conditions or age 65+) are strongly encouraged to stay home and avoid unnecessary outings and travel.
  • The statewide mandate to social distance — i.e. maintain six feet of distance between yourself and all others who are not in your household — and wear face coverings outside your home will continue until further notice. Exemptions from the face mask requirement include: children under 5, patrons of a restaurant who are actively eating or drinking + individuals communicating with someone who is hearing impaired. View the complete list of exceptions here.
  • Businesses must operate at reduced capacities for their industry, as outlined here. Indoor bar areas must remain closed.
  • Mass gatherings of more than 10 people not of the same household continue to be prohibited.
  • Individuals who do not comply with social distancing or face covering mandates — and businesses that do not enforce the requirements — may be cited by law enforcement, however officials are instructed to enforce this executive order only against repeat or willful violations.