Businesses and Employers In light of the continued progress the state has achieved in its key COVID-19 metrics and the reduced risk of transmission of COVID-19 in outdoor settings, Executive Order 209 lifts the requirement that face coverings must be worn outdoors when 6 feet of social distance cannot be consistently maintained from non-household members. FAQs for the Easing of Restrictions Summary of current restrictions Executive Order 209 increases the mass gathering limits to 100 people indoors and 200 outdoors, but maintains the current percentage occupancy limits on certain establishments. There are three general categories of occupancy restrictions: up to 100 percent capacity, 75 percent capacity, and 50 percent capacity. All businesses must continue to maintain the 6 feet of distance requirement between patrons and implement other safety protocols as they expand their capacity. Guidance and Resources Vaccination Information for Employers Current Guidance for Easing of Restrictions Guidance for Businesses Additional COVID-19 Resources for NC Businesses COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide Frequently Asked Questions 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? 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.