Sununu orders New Hampshire residents to stay home, nonessential businesses to close

 Gov. Chris Sununu
Gov. Chris Sununu (WCAX)
Published: Mar. 26, 2020 at 2:41 PM EDT
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Stay at home unless you absolutely have to go out. That was the order Thursday from New Hampshire's governor.

Beginning at midnight Friday, New Hampshire residents should only leave their homes or go to work if it is absolutely necessary.

Gov. Chris Sununu issued the stay-at-home order Thursday afternoon.

Like the order now in effect in Vermont, all nonessential businesses are to close. But essential services like gas stations and grocery stores will remain open. The order lasts until May 4.

"We can not stress this enough, you should stay at your house unless absolutely necessary. Of course, we will not prevent you from leaving your home to go on a walk or when heading to the store if you need groceries, or simply heading to work. But beyond essential necessities, you should not be leaving your home. These are tough decisions, they really are, but at the end of the day, we know that the worst may still be ahead of us," said Sununu, R-New Hampshire.

The order also extends to all public schools in New Hampshire. Students in the Granite State will now be remote learning until at least May 4.

Thursday's move comes after pressure from New Hampshire lawmakers. Two-hundred Democrats signed a letter to the governor on Wednesday, calling for a stay-at-home order.

"We, I think probably that he has come to the realization, like many in the country have, that this isn't going to stop before Easter and it is only going to get worse. I think we have seen that in the last 24 hours in New Hampshire," said Rep. Sharon Nordgren, D-Hanover.

The order also includes lawmakers. All legislative activity is on hold until May 4. The Statehouse and Legislative Office Building will remain closed to legislative members, legislative staff and visitors.

Anyone who has questions about the stay at home order should contact the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs.