The order goes into effect at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 30, but Cooper urged people start “as soon as you possibly you can.”

The order will stay in place for 30 days or until it is repealed, replaced or rescinded by another Executive Order.

“It’s what we have to do to save lives,” Cooper said. “It has the force of law.” The order directs residents to stay at home unless you need to leave for essentials such as a job, food, medicine, outdoor exercise or to help someone.

The order bans gatherings of more than 10 people and directs individuals to stay at least 6 feet away from one another. Funerals are permitted to include no more than 50 people while practicing social distancing requirements.

Essential services are allowed to continue under the order, and directs the businesses that do need to stay open to practice strong social distancing requirements.

The order will be enforced by both state and local law enforcement officers.

The order identifies essential businesses as:

  • Businesses that meet social distancing requirements
  • Businesses operating in CISA identified sectors
  • Healthcare and public health operations
  • Human services operations
  • Essential infrastructure operations
  • Essential government operations
  • Stores that sell groceries and medicine
  • Food, beverage production and agriculture
  • Organizations that provide charitable and social services
  • Religious entities
  • Media
  • Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation
  • Financial and insurance institutions
  • Home improvement, hardware and supplies
  • Critical trades
  • Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery, and pick-up services
  • Educational institutions
  • Laundry services
  • Restaurants for consumption off-premises
  • Supplies for COVID-19 essential businesses and operations
  • Transportation
  • Home-based care and services
  • Residential facilities and shelters
  • Professional services
  • Manufacture, distribution, and supply chain for critical products and industries
  • Defense and military contractors
  • Hotels and motels
  • Funeral services
  • Additional COVID-19 essential retail business

If you do not think your business is included in the essential services list and you feel it should be, you may apply online at the NC Department of Revenue to be designated essential by clicking here. Until your exemption is reviewed, you may operate as long as your business can accommodate social distancing in your workplace.