Stay-at-Home Order FAQs

Find details to help clarify the Stay-at-Home Order for Durham City and County and how it affects specific businesses and activities.

The City and County appreciate your effort to comply with this Order. With everyone’s cooperation, we hope to control the virus quickly so that life can soon return to normal.

Current Status:

On Friday, May 22, 2020, at 5 p.m., Durham’s updated Stay-at-Home Orders are in effect until rescinded. While mostly adopting Governor Roy Cooper’s statewide Executive Order 141, there are some more stringent requirements for Durham residents and visitors.

This information is subject to change as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve.

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Durham Stay-at-Home Order: What’s Different as of May 22?


State Exec. Order 141 (Modified Phase 2): Effective May 22Durham Stay-at-Home Order: Effective May 22
Commercial ActivityPeople can leave home for commercial activity; more businesses open (essential & non-essential designations removed)People can leave home for commercial activity; more businesses open (essential & non-essential designations removed)
Retail50% capacity allowed with cleaning & disinfecting50% capacity allowed with cleaning & disinfecting
Mass Gatherings (meeting & event venues, amphitheaters, sporting venues and arenas, groups at beaches/parks)10-person limit indoors; 25-person limit outdoorsNo indoor mass gatherings allowed with non-household members; 10-person limit with non-household members outdoors with social distancing & sanitation required
Religious Worship Services, Weddings & FuneralsIndoor and outdoor services allowed with no person-limit restrictions; social distancing & sanitation encouragedIndoor and outdoor services allowed with no person-limit restrictions; social distancing & sanitation required
ChildcareOpen; must follow DHHS guidelinesOpen; must follow DHHS guidelines
TeleworkingEncouragedEncouraged
Restaurants50% capacity and other requirementsClosed except for curbside takeout/carryout until June 1 at 8 a.m.
Barbers, Salons & Personal Care50% capacity and other requirementsClosed until June 1 at 8 a.m.
Pools50% capacity and other requirementsDPR indoor & outdoor pools closed; private pools closed until June 1 at 8 a.m.
Parks, Trails & GreenwaysOpenOpen
Face CoveringsEncouragedRequired
Summer Camps (Day & Overnight)AllowedDPR summer camps closed until further notice; private camps closed until June 1 at 8 a.m. and must follow DHHS guidelines
Sports/Recreational ActivitiesAllowed with social distancingAllowed with social distancing
Real EstateN/AModifications made to permit showings of occupied dwellings; restrictions remain
Bars/NightclubsClosedClosed
Indoor Entertainment Venues (movies, bowling, bingo, etc.)ClosedClosed
Gyms & Fitness Studios (yoga, cycling, martial arts, etc.)ClosedClosed
PlaygroundsClosedClosed
MuseumsClosedClosed
Visitation at Long-Term Care CentersNot allowedNot allowed

FAQs for May 22 Amendment

Why is the May 22 Stay-at-Home amendment still more stringent than the Governor’s order in certain areas, such as the reopening of restaurants, personal services and pools?

Although Durham has done well in flattening the curve of cases of the virus and slowing its spread, we have recently had a significant increase in cases. We have recently had growth in our cases at twice the level of the state of North Carolina as a whole. In addition, our cases per capita are three times the per capita rate in Wake County. With these concerning trends, we are being a bit more cautious than the state in moving to lift our Stay-at-Home Order.

What does it mean for businesses to “self-certify? 

Self-certifying means businesses are voluntarily agreeing to follow a set of best practices based on guidance by public health experts for reducing the spread of COVID-19. Businesses will have the opportunity to demonstrate they have self-certified by publicly and prominently displaying at their place of business a checklist of safety guidelines that the task force will develop in collaboration with local experts. The checklist will include both a common set of best practices we expect of all gathering places as well as optional industry-specific practices.

How will the self-certification process work? Is there a form or statement that businesses much use or post?

In the coming week, the task force will release additional information about the process. The important thing to know now is that the process is voluntary and will not delay businesses from opening who are able to open under local orders. The goal of the task force is to release the process before June 1st. The process will entail downloading and printing a self-certification checklist for your industry and posting it prominently in a place in your businesses where all customers will see it upon entering.  The checklist will serve as a reminder to our businesses of the practices they are committing to follow.  Prominently displaying it will encourage accountability to business patrons who will know what they should expect upon entering the establishment.  

Although the self-certification process is based on trust that businesses will comply, is there enforcement and to whom should noncompliance be reported?

This self-certification process is entirely voluntary. It is not required, so there will be no enforcement of it. Rather, the self-certification process is a way for businesses to give confidence to their customers, clients and employees that they are providing a safe place to work, shop and receive services.