Safer at Home Phase 2.5 FAQs

The City and County appreciate your effort to comply with North Carolina Executive Order 163 (Safer at Home Phase 2.5). With everyone’s cooperation, we hope to control the virus quickly so that life can soon return to normal.

Current Status

As of Friday, September 4 at 5 p.m., the City and County of Durham have adopted the State’s Executive Order 163, with no additional local requirements.

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Understanding Safer at home Phase 2.5

Although phase 2.5 eases some restrictions, North Carolinians must stay vigilant on mask wearing and social distancing.

For a quick overview:

What is new in Phase 2.5?

  • Mass gathering limits increase to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.
  • Playgrounds will be allowed to open.
  • Museums and aquariums can open at 50% capacity.
  • Fitness and competitive physical activity facilities can open at 30% capacity (includes gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, skating rinks, yoga, etc.).
  • All employers in North Carolina are strongly encouraged to provide face coverings to their employees.

What remains the same under Phase 2.5?

  • Face coverings are still required in public. View North Carolina face covering guidelines
  • Bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, amusement parks, dance halls, and other entertainment facilities remain closed. 
  • Restaurants remain subject to 50% capacity limits and other requirements for in-person dining.
  • Personal care businesses such as hair salons, nail salons, barber shops and more remain subject to 50% capacity limits and other requirements. 
  • Large venues remain subject to the mass gathering limits.
  • Wedding receptions and other private events remain subject to the mass gathering limits.


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Additional Resources

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Understanding Safer at Home Phase 2.5

Visit the State’s website for additional information on Phase 2.5, including FAQs and guidelines for common activities and businesses. Visit NC.gov.

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Complete the Business Safety Checklist

Complete the checklist in English or Spanish to get a customized poster to display the steps you are taking to keep employees and customers safe. Visit BackOnTheBull.com.

Community & Business Resources

Community & Business Resources

Find resources and support for businesses and individuals during COVID-19. Learn More.

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  1. FAQs
  2. Press Releases
  3. Stay-at-Home Order Archive

How do I report a violation of the Safer at Home Order?

  • To report violations in the City or County of Durham:
    Call the Durham Emergency Communications Center non-emergency line at 919-560-4600. 

Please DO NOT call the non-emergency phone number for general inquiries or questions about the Order. If your question is not answered on this FAQ webpage, contact Durham One Call at 919-560-1200 for assistance Monday-Friday between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • To report violations at Duke University:
    If you have any questions or concerns or observe students whose behavior does not adhere to these policies, please call 800-826-8109, option 3, the Duke “Speak Up” reporting line, or email conduct@duke.edu, which goes to the Office of Student Conduct in the Division of Student Affairs. Submissions by phone and email will be sent to the appropriate department for follow up.

    If you need an immediate response to an off-campus issue, the Durham Neighborhoods United Protocol for Dealing with Off-Campus Student Housing should be followed. 

How is the Order being enforced within the City limits? 

It is the City’s priority to enforce the Order through education, dialogue, and seeking voluntary cooperation from all residents and businesses. If voluntary cooperation is not achieved, the following steps will be taken: 

  • Step 1 – Advisory Education: The City will respond to violations with contact from the Durham Police Department (DPD) and City Attorney’s Office to provide education and an opportunity for voluntary compliance. This includes delivery of an advisory letter by DPD to notify the individual or business of their responsibility to follow the Order, and a call or letter from the Attorney’s Office.

  • Step 2 – Criminal Citation and Cease and Desist Letter: For continued violations, DPD will issue a citation and the Attorney’s Office will issue a cease and desist letter. After the citation and letter are issued, DPD will visit again to check on compliance with the Order.

  • Step 3 – Litigation: As a last resort for noncompliance, the City Attorney’s Office will evaluate the viability of further legal action.

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 COVID-19 Recovery and Renewal Task Force has developed 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 do I complete self-certification for my business?

Visit BackOnTheBull.com to complete the self-certification checklist in English or Spanish.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.