Over a year later, with the North Carolina General Assembly in session, the state is still living under the law of executive orders.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued three new executive orders Tuesday, March 30, but none of them increased restrictions.
Executive Order 205 extends the order that allows bars, restaurants, private clubs, hotels and some distilleries to continue to sell mixed beverages to go through June 30. The original executive order allowing to-go mixed drink sales was implemented when bars could not serve customers inside and were only allowed to serve a limited number in designated areas outside. In the middle of the winter that made it tough for bars to serve any customers at all and Cooper issued the executive order allowing the sale of mixed drinks to go.
Under the current executive order bars can allow up to 50 percent of the official capacity indoors and outdoors, and restaurants are allowed up to 75 percent of capacity indoors and 100 percent capacity outdoors.
Executive Order 206 extends the statewide residential eviction moratorium through June 30 in coordination with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that extended the nationwide moratorium to the same date.
Cooper had previously created the HOPE Program to make direct payments to landlords to keep people in their homes, and to date HOPE has paid out over $140 million to nearly 37,000 applicants.
North Carolina recently received over $700 million in federal emergency rental assistance money to continue to make these payments and an updated program is expected to be launched soon.
Executive Order 207 expedites the processing of unemployment insurance claims, continuing a measure that has been in place under previous executive orders.
The press release from the governor’s office notes that the Council of State concurred with Executive Orders 205 and 206, which required Council of State concurrence. When these COVID-19 related executive orders started in March 2020, Cooper did not receive concurrence from the Council of State and determined that it was not needed for that executive order.