TUCSON, Ariz. — The Tucson City Council has voted to implement a mandatory curfew, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., starting Friday, Dec. 4 through Wednesday, Dec. 23.
The unanimous vote came at an emergency meeting Tuesday called by Mayor Regina Romero, who first proposed the curfew to the council as officials look for new ways to slow the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases.
“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,” Mayor Romero said in a news release Monday.
Romero's initial proposal was to start the curfew at 8 p.m., and begin immediately. The council voted to amend the measure to 10 p.m. starting Friday, giving small businesses some time to adjust.
In another action, the council decided to dedicate another $5 million of its unused money from the federal CARES Act to support small businesses that may struggle in the coming months.
The council also discussed a potential action from the Pima County Board of Supervisors, who is meeting Friday to discuss similar measures. Several council members voiced support for amending their curfew to fit the county's, should they differ.
At a press conference announcing her proposal Monday, Romero said the council will implement the curfew for three weeks, then determine how effective the measure was is curbing COVID-19 in the city. They may impose the curfew again if they believe it's having an impact.
According to the mayor's office, the curfew prohibits "all persons from being present on any public street or in any public place," with the following exceptions:
- 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; and
- Persons who are homeless.
However, not all Tucsonans are happy about the curfew. About 100 protesters gathered in front of city hall and marched through the downtown area to express how their dismay.
Not everyone is happy about the curfew set to start Friday night.— Ciara Encinas (@ciaraencinastv) December 2, 2020
Chants of "Recall Romero" could be heard outside of city hall.
About 100 unhappy Tucsonans were outside and even marched through downtown. @kgun9 pic.twitter.com/HuQ4JBPAmh