California restricts overnight outings to essential errands

November 21, 2020 GMT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California health officials are restricting overnight activities starting Saturday night, though there are plenty of exceptions. They’re calling it a limited stay-at-home order designed to stem the rapidly spreading coronavirus by discouraging social gatherings.

The curfew:

— Applies to people who are not on essential errands.

— Requires people to stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. starting Saturday night.


— Applies to 41 of the state’s 58 counties that are in the “purple” tier, the most restrictive of four tiers allowing various stages of economic reopening. Those 41 counties encompass 94% of the most populous state’s nearly 40 million people.

— For other counties moving into the most restrictive tier, the curfew will start on the third night after the rollback is announced.

— Is effective through Dec. 21. But it could be extended if disease trends don’t improve.

— Is less restrictive than California’s first-in-the-nation, around-the-clock lockdown in March.

— Does not apply to anyone who is homeless.

— Does not bar activities people do alone or with members of their immediate household, like walking the dog.

— Does not prohibit individuals or members of the same household from going outside, as long as they don’t mix with other households.

— Does not restrict commuting to or from work.

— Restaurants can stay open for takeout and delivery after 10 p.m.

— People can still get groceries, fill prescriptions or get gasoline.

— Does not apply to what the state defines as “ essential workforce and critical infrastructure,” including health care and emergency workers, and various people who work in food and agriculture, water and sewage, transportation, energy, communications, government, manufacturing, and financial services.

— Violators could face fines or be charged with a misdemeanor. Businesses could have their business license revoked. But many county and city law enforcement officials have said they won’t enforce the curfew, and state officials say it’s “a new tool” that local officials can use “should they need it.”