On March 30, Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order for people to  “Stay home” - but with many exceptions.

The directives  came with COVID-19 positive tests rising astronomically - from nine cases on March 21 to 689 this week.

Ducey ordered Arizonans, starting March 31, to “limit their time away from their place of residence.”

However, the order is far from the “lockdown” that some states have implemented.

A notable exception allows people “to utilize any services or products provided by essential business services.”

Restaurants are one of the businesses that Ducey previously deemed “essential,” so eateries may remain open for takeout and delivery.

Going to a restaurant to pick up food would qualify as “participate in essential services.”

Ducey previously ordered restaurants to provide only takeout and delivery meals, with no in-restaurant eating.

A long list of “essential services” released by Ducey on March 23 includes banks, hardware stores, food banks, gas stations, parks, golf courses, barber shops, nail salons, photography stores, dry cleaners, hotels and motels, firearms and ammunition stores and pawn shops.

Keeping Arizonans safe and healthy as we slow the spread of COVID-19 remains our top priority,” said Ducey.

“It’s important to emphasize that there are no plans to shut down grocery stores. People should continue to buy what you need for a week’s worth of groceries,” he added. 

Ducey’s order also has exceptions for people to “participate in essential activities,” including employment in essential businesses and for those who are sole proprietors (or family-owned business) “and the business is not open to serve the public.”

And Ducey encouraged Arizonans to continue “developing habits and activities that increase resilience, such as physical activity.”


Ducey’s order came shortly after officials in New York, Louisiana and other hard-hit states said they were running low on medical supplies. 

“Slowing the spread of COVID-19 will ensure we build capacity in our healthcare system, and help protect the lives of those we love most,” Ducey said.

“I’m grateful to everyone making adjustments to fight this virus and protect others. Arizona will get through this, and we’ll do it together.”

Ducey’s order noted, “Arizonans are also encouraged to improve social connectedness” by maintaining communication with family and friends.

The governor also encouraged people to continue “developing habits and activities that increase resilience, such as physical activity, virtual social gatherings, assisting neighbors, implementing or participating in connection campaigns for at risk populations and participating in volunteer activities.”

Ducey provided a list of “essential activities” that people may continue to do, including:

Obtaining necessary supplies and services for family, household members and pets, such as groceries, food and supplies for household consumption and use, supplies and equipment needed to work from home, assignments for completion of distance learning and products necessary to maintain safety, sanitation and essential maintenance of the home, residence. 

Engaging in activities essential for health and safety, including things such as seeking medical, behavioral health or emergency services and obtaining medical supplies or medication.

Caring for a family member, friend, or pet in another household or residence, which includes but is not limited to transportation for essential health and safety activities and to obtain necessary supplies and services for the other household. 

Engaging in outdoor exercise activities, such as walking, hiking, running, biking or golfing, but only if appropriate physical distancing practices are used.

Attending work in or conducting essential services which includes but is not limited to transporting children to child care services for attending work in an essential service.

Engaging in constitutionally protected activities such as speech and religion, the democratic process to include voting any legal or court process provided that such is conducted in a manner that provides appropriate physical distancing to the extent feasible.


“Arizona citizens and businesses are already responsibly responding to this crisis. This order builds on the state’s efforts to protect public health by reminding Arizonans to maintain healthy habits and find alternative ways to stay connected with friends and loved ones while spending time at home,” Ducey said.