Impacts and Closures
Updated May 23, 2020, 10am
See a quick summary of what is NOT allowed and what IS allowed here.
North Carolina has a three-phase plan to reopen the state and restore businesses and ease travel restrictions. For an overview of the current phase and next phase, see below.
We are in Phase 2 through at least Fri., June 26
“Phase 3 will likely ease even more restrictions on businesses and increase occupancy and mass gathering limits, but this is subject to the data. Social distancing, hand hygiene and use of cloth face coverings will still be recommended. Depending on state COVID-19 trends, restrictions may be lifted more slowly or some restrictions may have to be reinstated to ensure the health and safety of North Carolinians.”
- Local business impacts
- Events/meeting impacts
- Airport/bus/train station impacts
- Tourism impact reports
Local business impacts
Currently in the state of North Carolina, all restaurants are restricted to an in-room dining capacity of 50% in addition to being able to offer carry-out, drive-through or delivery.
Restaurants are defined as permitted food establishments and other establishments that both prepare and serve food, including but not limited to, restaurants, cafeterias, food halls, dining halls, food kiosks at airports and shopping centers or educational institutions ("food courts"), as well as private or members-only clubs where food and beverages are permitted to be consumed on premises.
Brewpubs, brewery taprooms, distilleries and wineries are allowed to be open at this time (can operate at 50% capacity with cleaning and social distancing requirements).
All bars and nightclubs are closed at this time.
Bars and nightclubs are defined as establishments that are not restaurants and that have a permit to sell alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption.
If a wine or bottle shop does not have such an ABC license for consumption on premises, then they are not allowed to be open for public pickup.
Hotels are allowed to operate during this time.
All places of public amusement where people may gather, whether indoors or outdoors, will be closed, including locations with amusement rides, carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, aquariums, zoos, museums, arcades, fairs, children’s play centers, public or private playgrounds, driving ranges, skate parks, recreation centers, "fun plexes," theme parks, bowling alleys, movie and other theaters, concert and music halls, and country clubs or social clubs.
Exercise and other outdoor activities that can be done if people keep their distance (no team activities/sports) from each other are allowed.
Most local parks, greenways, walking trails and nature preserves remain open for use, and Wake County encourages continued biking, hiking and running on those that are open while following good social distancing practices.
Golf courses can operate as long as social distance is kept.
We strongly recommend double-checking park or golf course websites/feeds to confirm details before traveling.
Grooming, fitness and personal wellness
All personal care, grooming, massage or tattoo businesses can operate at 50% capacity with cleaning and social distancing requirements.
The following facilities that operate within an indoor space remain closed: spas, exercise facilities, gyms, fitness studios, martial arts facilities, dance studios, trampoline and rock-climbing facilities, roller skating rinks, ice staking rinks and basketball courts.
The following mass gathering limits are in place for conference rooms, meeting halls, auditoriums, stadiums, arenas, parades, fairs and festivals.
- Within indoor spaces of public-facing businesses, gatherings of up to 10 people within each room of the facility are allowed.
- In outdoor spaces, gatherings of up to 25 people are allowed.
More guidance on planning for events and mass gatherings of any size within the state of North Carolina can be found here.
Youth, college and amateur sports programs
See interim guidance for administrators and participants from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, here (May 22, 2020).
Concerts, spectator sporting and entertainment event impacts
Entertainment and professional sports events at large venues may take place so they can be broadcast to the public, but spectators are subject to the mass gathering limit. Professional entertainers, athletes, coaches, performers, support staff and broadcast staff will not count toward the mass gathering limit. Employees and other workers at facilities where entertainment events occur also will not count toward the mass gathering limit. Venue operators allowing such events must follow specific public health requirements.
Tips for event organizers/meeting planners
If you’re an event organizer, we encourage you to work directly with your contracted venues, host hotels and vendors within Wake County to postpone or reschedule your event.
If you have specific questions about COVID-19 and events, you should reach out to the Wake County COVID-19 Response Hotline via email at email@example.com or call 919.856.7044. Someone from the public health team will return your message.
For additional resources for meetings and events, please review the U.S. Travel Association’s Emergency Preparedness and Response Coronavirus (COVID-19) Toolkit found here.
Airport/bus/train station impacts
"Safer-at-Home" restrictions do NOT include normal operations at airports and bus and train stations.
GoRaleigh transit system has suspended all fares, and riders board from the rear to ease social distancing. Also, service reductions have been put into place to minimize COVID-19 risk (this applies to the downtown Raleigh R-LINE free circulator as well). Get details here.
Learn what RDU International Airport is doing to combat the spread, here.
Learn what Amtrak and Raleigh Union Station Terminal are doing to combat the spread, here.