TUCSON, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Tucson's City Council unanimously approved a mandatory curfew Tuesday evening in response to the rise in COVID-19 infections.
Council members voted 6-0 to begin the new curfew this Friday, Dec. 4, and it will run until Dec. 23. The curfew hours will be 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily.
Mayor Regina Romero originally proposed the curfew would start at 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., but the council agreed to move the start time an hour later. That could all change if the Pima County Board of Supervisors approves their curfew, which would start at 9 p.m.
The curfew goes into effect starting tonight. It will run from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily through the end of December.
The curfew will go into effect on Friday Dec. 4, at 10 p.m. The order requires “all persons are prohibited from using, standing, sitting, traveling or being present on any public street or in any public place, including for the purpose of travel.”
The city council said essential businesses like grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations- among others- can remain open, but restaurants will only be allowed to offer food to go after 8 p.m. Venues like bars and nightclubs will have to adjust their hours as well. Tucson International Airport said travelers going to, from, or at the airport are except from the curfew.
We are considered essential infrastructure, so TUS remains open 24/7. Travel to and from the terminal is also essential and unaffected by curfew. Click the link to learn about our numerous upgrades to make everyone feel safe. https://t.co/TAVLm0UDsB— Tucson Airport (@TucsonAirport) December 2, 2020
Other exceptions to the exceptions to the curfew are:
- All law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics or other medical personnel, and any other emergency response personnel.
- Persons traveling directly to and from work; attending religious services; commercial trucking and delivery services; caring for a family member, friend, or animal; patronizing or operating a business that is an Essential Function; seeking medical care or fleeing dangerous circumstances; engaging in Essential Activities; and travel for any of the above services or purposes.
- Persons engaged in or traveling to perform or receive Essential Functions
- Persons who are homeless
Tucson Mayor Romero has been calling for a citywide curfew amid the recent spike of COVID-19 cases. "It is necessary to take action today," Romero said during a webcast Monday.
“After consulting with public health experts and local hospitals, we have determined that additional steps are necessary to control the surge of COVID-19 cases,” Romero has said.
The mandatory curfew is a preliminary step that would help avoid a stay-at-home order or a lockdown, Romero says.
The governor has repeatedly said 90% of the state is under a mandate but says ultimately it's a personal responsibility.
The mayor Monday also called on Gov. Doug Ducey to take steps to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cases, including implementing a statewide, mandatory mask mandate and curfew. "We still need statewide action," Romero said. "The governor has waited and waited and waited and the numbers have gotten worse."
A coronavirus relief fund is being discussed by Tucson officials for those affected.