North Carolina’s governor on Dec. 8 announced an executive order that requires people to stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night.
Gov. Roy Cooper’s order takes effect Dec. 11 and will be in place until at least Jan. 8, 2021.
Several CCP virus vaccines are close to emergency approval, and officials with President Donald Trump’s administration believe 20 million Americans will be vaccinated this month.
But the vaccines aren’t ready yet, Cooper, a Democrat, said during a press conference.
“I know that news of effective and safe vaccines has given us all hope. But vaccines aren’t here yet. We have to act now to save lives, safeguard our hospital capacity, and preserve our economy,” he said, citing the rising number of COVID-19 cases in North Carolina.
According to Cooper, the number of cases increased from a daily count of around 3,000 last month to more than 6,000 this month.
State legislative leaders hadn’t immediately reacted to the curfew.
Restaurants, bars, parks, and other businesses and facilities must close each night at 10 p.m. and all individuals in the state “must stay at home or the place they will remain for the night between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.,” according to a FAQ sheet released by the governor’s office (pdf).
“Events or convenings outside of the home must end by 10 p.m. and guests must leave the establishment and travel home or to the place where they will stay for the night,” it states.
Exceptions include grocery stores, gas stations, and other businesses selling groceries, medication, fuel, or health care supplies. People can travel during the curfew period to or from a workplace, to get food, medical care, fuel, or social services, for a religious service, to leave or enter the state, or to take care of a family member, friend, or pet in another household.
The order doesn’t prohibit people from staying with family and friends.
No enforcement mechanism was outlined in the document. The governor told reporters that his administration was encouraging local governments to enforce COVID-19 orders. They should impose fines and other measures for violators, he said.
“Our new modified stay-at-home order aims to limit gatherings and get people home where they are safer, especially during the holidays. It’s also a reminder that we must be vigilant the rest of the day, wearing a face mask when we’re with people we don’t live with, keeping a safe distance from others, and washing our hands a lot,” Cooper said.
“And let me be clear, we will do more if our trends do not improve. That means additional actions involving indoor restaurant dining, entertainment facilities, or shopping and retail capacity.”