North Carolina is in a MODIFIED ‘STAY AT HOME’ ORDER through at least January 8.
Buncombe County, the City of Asheville, and the Town of Montreat have ordered TIGHTER RESTRICTIONS for restaurants and mass gatherings effective January 2. 

NC Governor Roy Cooper’s Current Executive Orders

    • EXECUTIVE ORDER 181 requires people in North Carolina to stay at home from 10pm to 5am, with certain businesses required to be closed during those hours; in effect through at least January 8, 2021 [December 8, 2020]
        • PRESS RELEASE from Gov. Cooper on NC’s latest “Stay at Home” order. [December 8, 2020]
        • FAQs on NC’s current “Stay at Home” order  [December 8, 2020]
    • EXECUTIVE ORDER 183 allows restaurants, hotels, bars, and some distilleries to sell mixed beverages to-go or for delivery; in effect through at least January 31, 2021 [December 21, 2020].
        • PRESS RELEASE from Gov. Cooper on this new order [December 21, 2020]
        • FAQs on this new order [December 21, 2020]

Buncombe County’s Current Orders, Information & Resources

    • A NEW LOCAL ORDER signed by Buncombe County, the City of Asheville, and the Town of Montreat reduces the capacity for indoor dining in restaurants from 50% of stated fire capacity to 30% and lowers the number for an indoor mass gathering for social gatherings with individuals from outside one’s household from 10 persons to 2 persons [effective January 2, 2021]. Otherwise, Buncombe County remains in alignment with Governor Cooper’s executive orders as noted above, with certain businesses required to be closed from 10pm to 5am daily, through at least January 8, and the selling of mixed beverages to-go or for delivery allowed through at least January 31.
    • ‘STAY SAFE, STAY SMART’ ORDER from Buncombe County officials, with emergency declaration [December 11, 2020]
    • INFORMATION CENTER for COVID-19 questions and concerns

Stats & Metrics


Mask Mandate in Buncombe County: Signage & Info

    • To help businesses comply with public safety messages and measures, Buncombe County has created downloadable signage in English and Spanish, including the newly required occupancy limit signage. Find it HERE.
    • Buncombe County Community Updates: Latest facts and COVID-19 case numbers HERE.
    • Other information and guidance from Buncombe County public health officials HERE.

Mask Mandate in North Carolina: Signage & Info

    • NC Dept of Health & Human Services media toolkits, signage, banners, Zoom virtual backgrounds, email signatures, PSAs, and other resources on the mask mandate and 3 W’s HERE.
    • FAQs on NC’s updated mask mandates
    • ‘Whatever your reason’ mask public health campaign materials HERE.

‘Asheville Cares’ Stay Safe Pledge

Communicate a shared commitment to safety with the ASHEVILLE CARES STAY SAFE PLEDGE, and the WE CARE STAY SAFE PLEDGE, both spearheaded by Explore Asheville in collaboration with local industry partners, and made available in a variety of formats.

New 3 W’s Safety Campaign

Explore Asheville partnered with Buncombe County and the City of Asheville on a new 3 W’s safety campaign featuring a whimsical and eye-catching design, with materials available to local businesses. Learn more HERE.

5-Step Action Plan for How to Handle Anti-Mask Guests

What should you do if an anti-mask guest disrupts your business? Explore Asheville hosted a one-hour webinar where attorney Andria Lure Ryan discussed steps your business can take to minimize the chances of such an incident occurring in your workplace. VIEW A RECORDING OF THE WEBINAR & THE SPEAKER’S PRESENTATION HERE.

Tips on Mask-Wearing from Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

How to select, wear, and clean masks for best effectiveness HERE.


Hospitality Industry: Resources from NC Restaurant & Lodging Association

Resources, guidance, and advocacy opportunities from NCRLA HERE.

Travel Industry Resources

Find industry guidance for promoting the health and safety of all travelers from the US TRAVEL ASSOCIATION. Also, check out VISIT NC for resources to help industry partners navigate business relief, communications, advocacy, research and other needs.


Buncombe County Tourism Jobs Recovery Fund

A total of 394 small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19 received grants from this fund established by the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority.  UPDATED INFORMATION HERE.

Business Coaching & More

Explore Asheville recently hosted a webinar led by digital marketing strategist and educator Sarah Benoit of JB Media Institute to help businesses discover ways to improve their websites. Learn more HERE.

Mountain BizWorks offers small businesses opportunities for lending and learning, with special expertise in the financial challenges of COVID-19. Learn more HERE.

Land of Sky Regional Council has developed a one-sheet guide for small business owners in Western North Carolina HERE.

Resources for Safe Reopening

Explore Asheville in partnership with a task force of county and regional organizations developed the SMART RESTART TOOLKIT, with guidance and resources for business owners and employers.




Buncombe County health officials encourage residents and businesses to report suspected violation of emergency orders at