What the Curfew and Its Enforcement Means to San Diegans

by on November 20, 2020 · 0 comments

in Health, Ocean Beach, San Diego

What does the new curfew Gov. Gavin Newsom issued Thursday for counties in the purple tier — including San Diego — mean for San Diegans? And what does the new level of enforcement mean?

Basically, the new curfew will take effect at 10 pm on Saturday, November 21, and all nonessential work and gatherings must stop from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Right now, the curfew will remain in effect for a month, until 5 am on Dec. 21. It could be revised or extended.

Also on Thursday, San Diego County officials announced that law enforcement will step up COVID-19 compliance education and citations. Sheriff Bill Gore said four two-deputy teams will begin making “a full-time commitment” of the county’s 18 cities and unincorporated areas, ensuring compliance with public health orders. Several cities have already confirmed they will send officers to assist deputies in their duties, Gore said.

While residents are urged to be home by 10 p.m., there are still things they can do at night, including:

  • Going to the grocery or drug store
  • Going out for a walk/walking a dog
  • Get takeout from a restaurant (which can stay open for this purpose only)
  • People will be allowed to do any of those things with members of their households.

The impact on restaurants in San Diego County will be slightly different, as they have already been subject to a previous county public health order to be closed by 10 pm. Before, restaurants could admit new customers at 10 who were allowed to stay till 11. Under the new curfew, customers need to be out the restaurant door by 10.

The same applies to gatherings at private residences.

“… All gatherings with members of other households and all activities conducted outside the residence, lodging or temporary accommodation with members of other households cease between 10 p.m. PST and 5 a.m. PST, except for those activities associated with the operation, maintenance, or usage of critical infrastructure or required by law,” reads the official order issued by the California Department of Public Health on Thursday. “This order does not apply to persons experiencing homelessness. Nothing in this order prevents any number of persons from the same household from leaving their residence, lodging or temporary accommodation, as long as they do not engage in any interaction with (or otherwise gather with) any number of persons from any other household, except as specifically permitted herein.”

With purple-tier restrictions in place, many nonessential businesses are required to move to outdoor-only operations, which include:

  • restaurants,
  • family entertainment centers,
  • wineries,
  • places of worship,
  • movie theaters,
  • museums,
  • gyms,
  • zoos,
  • aquariums and
  • cardrooms.

The restrictions include:

  • closing amusement parks.
  • Breweries and distilleries are able to remain open as long as they are able to operate outside and with food on the same ticket as alcohol.
  • Retail businesses and shopping centers can remain open with 25% of the building’s capacity. No food courts are permitted.
  • If a school district has not reopened for in-person learning, it must remain remote only. Offices are restricted to remote work.

Remaining open are:

  • essential services,
  • personal care services,
  • barbershops,
  • hair salons,
  • outdoor playgrounds and
  • recreational facilities.

Sheriff Gore said deputies would not be going door-to-door, but rather will be following up on complaints. Education about public health orders will be the first method used and citations could follow.

Several cities have already confirmed they will send officers to assist deputies in their duties, including San Diego, Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Oceanside and Coronado.

In cities that do not work with county enforcement teams on their own, sheriff’s deputies will step in but County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher urged cities to work with the county to educate and enforce the public health orders.

The county has issued 52 cease-and-desist orders since Monday, including five Wednesday to Flicks in Hillcrest, Grinder Gym in Bay Park, Major’s Diner in Pine Valley, RSD Boxing in Spring Valley and Studio Barre in Torrey Highlands.

Residents can report egregious violations of the health order with the county complaint line at 858-694-2900.

San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said communications have also been had with the District Attorney and City Attorney’s offices to ensure that citations will be followed up with if necessary.

News sources:

San Diego Union-Tribune




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