The lockdown is back.

This time Gov. Roy Cooper is calling his order for everyone to stay home a curfew, but being ordered by the state government to stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. is close to a lockdown.

The 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. statewide curfew established by Executive Order 181 goes into effect on Friday, Dec. 11 at 5 p.m.

The good news about the curfew is that there are so many exceptions, it appears it will be extremely difficult to enforce. If you own a home, rent a home or otherwise have a regular abode, you are required by the ordinance to be in that home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. every day.

However, the executive order does not apply to the homeless. So people experiencing homelessness are free to wander anywhere they want at night, just like most Americans have been up until recently.

The big exception is this one: “Worship, religious, and spiritual gatherings, funeral ceremonies, wedding ceremonies, and other activities constituting the exercise of First Amendment rights are exempt from all the requirements of this Executive Order,”

The First Amendment protects the “right of the people peaceably to assemble,” and that is not the same as a peaceful protest. The right to peaceably assemble can be for any reason. So it appears the executive order requires people to stay home, but if people decide to peaceably assemble somewhere else that would constitute a protected First Amendment right.

The Executive Order states:

  1. Between 10:00 PM and 5:00 AM, all individuals in North Carolina must stay at home or at the place they will stay for the night, except for:
  2. Travel to or from a place of work when a worker’s presence is required by the worker’s employer;
  3. Travel for work purposes;
  4. Performing work at the workplace or other location directed by the employer when the worker’s presence is required by the worker’s employer;
  5. Travel to obtain groceries, take-out food, medical care, fuel, health care supplies, or social services;
  6. Travel from a business that closed at or after 10:00 PM;
  7. Travel to a business that will open at or after 5:00 AM;
  8. Travel to take care of a family member, friend, or pet in another household;
  9. Travel necessary for purposes of personal safety;
  10. Travel into or out of the State;
  11. Travel required by law enforcement or court order; and
  12. Using or providing shared transportation (including without limitation taxicabs, ride shares, buses, trains, airplanes, and travel to airports, train stations, or bus stations).

Also exempted is travel to, attending, a religious service or other activity exempted under the First Amendment exemption and as one might expect college and professional sporting events.

Finally the executive order states that it will be enforced “against individuals only in cases of willful or repeated violations.”