California’s Take on the Curfew Regulations

On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom considers implementing curfew regulations around California to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 across the state. Gavin stated the possibility in his press conference in hopes to halt the surge of coronavirus cases while allowing the country’s economy to resume operations.

According to Gavin, he mentioned that they are currently reviewing the plan to assess its benefits and drawbacks. He also assured the public that the idea’s assessment would be thorough before establishing curfew hours all over the country.

Gavin clarified that they are doing their best to see the impacts of having curfew hours before administering them by taking a closer look at official studies connected to it. He wants to make sure that when they impose the time regulations, it will cause only minor problems and produce more constructive results.

Curfew Hours Imposed on the Other States

Before California, many states already used the idea of curfew orders to help combat the rise of COVID-19 cases in their respective regions. For most places, they require companies and businesses to close early at night and reopen again by the morning of the next day.

For instance, Massachusetts enacted curfew hours to its restaurants and bars to stop business by 10 p.m. every night. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also implemented the same rule, mandating their residents to stay in their homes and shops to close up at 10 p.m. nightly. Meanwhile, Florida’s Miami-Dade administered a countrywide curfew within its state, effective daily from midnight to 6 in the morning.

Experts’ Opinions on the Curfew Restrictions

Several medical professionals support curfew regulations as one way to aid in beating the coronavirus outbreak. According to UCSF infectious disease expert Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, the idea works in multiple ways. It allows many businesses to keep running while eliminating the risk of increasing COVID-19 infections in an area. Moreover, the plan aids in preventing full lockdowns and assists in maintaining the state’s economic stability.

Despite stating his support for the idea, Chin-Hong also pointed out that curfews can also become problematic. The previously mentioned declaration applies mostly to gym and dining businesses. If these businesses shorten their opening hours due to the time ordinance, many people will take the chance to go into the establishments early. Mass gatherings may occur when that happens, resulting in higher risks of spreading COVID-19 infections within a single vicinity. Furthermore, Chin-Hong voiced his concern that the curfew hours might affect public transportation, which may inconvenience essential workers going to their workplaces every day and coming home every night.

Additionally, UCSF epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford confirmed that bars in California that only serve alcoholic drinks halts business hours early. He also mentioned that the curfew orders are hugely helpful to influence bars to close early every day. Dr. Rutherford noted that the usual hours under time-limit restrictions occur from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily, and it aids in preventing gatherings of any size from happening, such as fraternity parties and off-hour clubs. 

Researches Assessed to Study the Plan’s Effectiveness

To thoroughly assess the implementation of curfew hours, Newsom revealed that he is examining researches of it from Saudi Arabia, Germany, and France. According to health professionals, however, only a limited number of studies get a basis.

According to a French study, lockdowns worked more successfully in reducing positive cases among people ages 60 and below. On the other hand, curfew regulations helped decrease the risk of COVID-19 infections among the state’s elderly population.

Another study from Lancelet indicated that only five out of 50 analyzed nations implemented time-restriction hours or partial lockdowns in their areas. Additionally, the research revealed that partial curfew positively correlates with the high number of recovery cases from the coronavirus. 

Nevertheless, Chin-Hong still assures that implementing curfew rules is one way to combat the virus while keeping the economy alive. He mentioned that people would start to think about time seriously with this method and help them plan their schedules for the day.