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On March 17, 2020 North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced an executive order that North Carolina restaurants and bars will be closed to sit-down service and limited to take-out or delivery orders starting at 5 p.m. on March 17, 2020.

Grocery stores, gas stations, and convenience stores, are exempt from this order and will remain open, though they may not serve sit-down food.

Additionally, the order lifts some restrictions on unemployment benefits to help workers unemployed due to the Coronavirus.

This Order will directly aid workers who may have lost wages in restaurants and meeting places due to mass gathering restrictions. For example, workers who lose income due to tips or scheduled work hours, but are still employed, would be eligible for benefits because of this Executive Order.

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Among other changes:

  • It removes the one-week waiting period to apply for unemployment payment for those workers who lose their jobs
  • It removes the requirement that a person must be actively looking for another job during this time when many potential employers are closed and social distancing guidelines are in effect.
  • It allows employees who lose their jobs or in certain cases have their hours reduced due to Coronavirus to apply for unemployment benefits.
  • It directs that employers will not be held responsible for benefits paid as a direct result of these Coronavirus claims.
  • It waives the requirement that people must apply for benefits in person; workers can now apply for benefits online or by phone.