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North Carolina

These resources – like the public health crisis itself – are constantly evolving and are only current as to the date of publication. This page was last updated on July 16, 2020.

For more up-to-date information on the relief programs available in North Carolina, we recommend that you visit the state's COVID-19 Information Hub, the North Carolina Department of Commerce or the North Carolina Center for Nonprofit Organizations' Nonprofit Pandemic Resources

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Description of Program and Relief

Guidelines for Reopening of Nonessential Businesses

Pursuant to Executive Order No. 138, Executive Order No. 141, and Executive Order No. 147, Governor Roy Cooper has eased restrictions allowing certain businesses to operate in some fashion. If there are no countervailing city or county restrictions, the following guidelines apply:

  • Childcare facilities may open and may serve all children. Childcare facilities must follow the health and safety requirements in Executive Order No. 130 and all guidelines issued by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

  • Day camps and programs for children and teens may operate only if they are in full compliance with the Interim Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Guidance for Day Camp or Program Settings Serving Children and Teens, available here. Day camps may not allow sports except for those sports where close contact is not required, and any activities where campers cannot maintain at least a six foot distance from one another are not allowed. If a day camp is operating within a business, facility, or school that is closed, the camp may operate but the location must otherwise remain closed to the general public. Overnight camps may also operate, subject to specific restrictions, available here.

  • Restaurants may open for on-premises service, subject to mandatory restrictions, such as:

  • Customers in indoor and outdoor seating areas must be limited to fifty percent (50%) of stated fire capacity (or, for spaces without a stated fire capacity, no more than twelve (12) customers for every one thousand (1000) square feet of the location’s total square footage).

  • The number of customers must be limited such that any customers sitting at a table are not within six (6) feet of any customers sitting at another table.

  • Restaurants must perform ongoing and routine environmental cleaning and disinfection of high-touch areas (e.g., doors, doorknobs, rails) with an EPA approved disinfectant for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), and increase disinfection during peak times or high customer density times, and of all shared objects (e.g., payment terminals, tables, countertops/bars, receipt trays, condiment holders) between use.

A full list of mandatory and recommended restrictions for restaurants is available here.

  • Bars are still limited to take out and delivery service only.

  • Personal care and grooming businesses and tattoo parlors may open, subject to similar restrictions to those for restaurants. A full list of mandatory and recommended restrictions for personal care and grooming businesses and tattoo parlors is available here, on pp. 5–6.

  • Gyms and health clubs and entertainment facilities must continue to remain closed. Examples of these types of businesses may be found here, at p. 2.

Government or Lead Agency

Office of the Governor

Dates Available

Beginning May 22, 2020 at 5:00 pm, through July 17, 2020 at 5:00 pm, unless repealed, replaced, or rescinded by another applicable Executive Order.

Eligibility Requirements/Restrictions

Retail businesses, restaurants, personal care and grooming businesses, tattoo parlors, childcare facilities, and day camps and programs for children and teens may operate with restrictions, as outlined above. Bars are still limited to take out and delivery service only. Gyms and health clubs and entertainment facilities must continue to remain closed. Businesses should also check for any additional city or county restrictions.

Application Deadlines (If Applicable)

N/A

Contact for More Information

To contact the Office of the Governor, click here.

List of Additional Information

For more information, see the relevant press releases here, here, and here, and the relevant FAQ pages here and here.


© 2021 Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. This does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. In some jurisdictions, this publication may be considered attorney advertising. Past representations are no guarantee of future outcomes.

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