Businesses and Employers

North Carolina will remain paused in Phase 3 of lifting COVID-19 restrictions.

Under Phase 3 as outlined in Executive Order 169:

  • Mass gathering limits remain the same – 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.
  • Large outdoor venues with seating greater than 10,000 may operate with 7% occupancy for spectators. 
  • Smaller outdoor entertainment venues, such as arenas or amphitheaters, may operate outdoors at 30% of outdoor capacity – or 100 guests, whichever is less. 
  • Movie theaters and conference centers may open indoor spaces to 30% of capacity – or 100 guests, whichever is less.
  • Bars may operate outdoors at 30% of outdoor capacity – or 100 guests, whichever is less. 
  • Amusement parks may open at 30% occupancy, outdoor attractions only. 
  • The 11 p.m. curfew on alcohol sales for in-person consumption in locations such as restaurants and outdoor bars will be extended to Oct. 23.

Under Executive Order 147, people must continue to wear face coverings when in public places where physical distancing is not possible.

Guidance and Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Can my employer force me to work?

Can my employer force me to work?

Businesses and employers are encouraged to use teleworking technology to the greatest extent possible. Employees should work with their employer to determine how they can best minimize risk of illness. This might include staying home when you are sick, using a staggered work schedule, and rearranging the workspace to increase space between coworkers. 

Does an employee need a negative COVID-19 test before returning to work?

Does an employee need a negative COVID-19 test before returning to work?

Employers should not require documentation of a negative test before allowing an employee to return to work.

Someone can end self-isolation and return to normal activities when you can answer YES to ALL of the following questions:

  • Has it been at least 10 days since your symptoms started?
  • Has it been 24 hours since you last had fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications?
  • Have your symptoms, such as coughing and shortness of breath, improved?

Read more about next steps to take when you are waiting for a test result, receive a positive test or a negative test.