Governor Moves State to “Safer at Home” Phase 2.5 COVID-19 Restrictions; Extends Limited Hours for Alcohol Sales

September 2, 2020

This week, Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 163 moving North Carolina to a “Safer at Home” Phase 2.5. The new Order is effective Sept. 4, 2020 at 5 p.m. through 5 p.m. on Oct. 2, 2020.

Highlights of the new Order include:

  • Mass gathering limits will increase to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors from the current limits of 10 indoors and 25 outdoors.
  • Playgrounds may open.
  • Museums and aquariums may open at 50% capacity.
  • Gyms and indoor exercise facilities, such as yoga studios, martial arts, and rock climbing, as well as skating rinks, bowling alleys, and fitness or competitive facilities such as basketball courts and baseball fields, may open at 30% capacity.
  • Bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, indoor entertainment facilities, amusement parks, dance halls will remain closed.
  • Restaurants remain subject to capacity limits and other requirements for in person dining.
  • Personal care businesses such as hair salons, nail salons, and barber shops remain subject to capacity limits and other requirements.
  • Large venues remain subject to the mass gathering limits.

FAQs for Phase 2.5 requirements may be accessed at this link.

Governor Cooper also signed Executive Order 162 extending an earlier Order (EO 153) ending the sale of alcoholic drinks in restaurants, breweries, wineries, and distilleries at 11 p.m. The new Order is effective through Oct. 2, 2020 at 11 p.m.

If you have questions, please contact Alex Elkan or Ed Turlington, linked below.


Brooks Pierce is dedicated to keeping our clients fully informed during the COVID-19 crisis. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 Response Resources page.
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