Tucson City Council passed an emergency curfew in an attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, starting Friday Dec. 4 and will continue until Dec. 23. The curfew is in place during the hours from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m.
During the curfew hours, 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 curfew will be enforced by the Tucson Police Department. Breaking the curfew requirements will be a civil infraction, possibly resulting in a $300 fine.
The reason for the curfew stated in the meeting on Dec. 1, 2020, was to provide for public health and safety and to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Tucson Mayor Regina Romero also requested that Gov. Doug Ducey issue necessary orders statewide.
“My colleagues on the council and I are asking each and every Tucsonan to do their part to slow the spread, especially for our family and friends working in our hospitals," Romero stated on Monday. "We need statewide action, and I strongly urge Governor Ducey to act swiftly to protect the health of Arizonans."
Exemptions to the curfew include all law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics or other medical personnel, and any other emergency response personnel; persons traveling directly to and from work; persons attending religious services; commercial trucking and delivery services; persons caring for a family member, friend or animal.
People patronizing or operating an essential business, seeking medical care, engaging in essential activities, traveling to perform or receive essential functions and people who are homeless are also exempt.
Essential activities include obtaining necessary supplies and services for family, household members and pets; engaging in activities essential for the health and safety of family, household members and pets; caring for a family member, friend or pet in another household or residence; engaging in outdoor exercise activities; attending or conducting work of volunteering in essential functions and engaging in constitutionally protected activities.
The definition of essential functions for this proclamation is, “Specifically identified as such or a function that promotes the public health, safety and welfare of the state or assists others in fulfilling such functions.”
Essential functions include healthcare and public health operations; human service operations; essential infrastructure operations; essential government functions; essential businesses and operations.
Essential businesses and operations include grocery stores, outdoor recreation activities, organizations that provide charitable and social services, media, gas stations and businesses needed for transportation. Financial institutions, hardware and supply stores, mail and postal services, education institutions, laundry services, restaurants for consumption off-premises, supplies for essential businesses and operations; transportation and more are also considered essential.
During the meeting on Tuesday there was also a vote on the Coronavirus Relief Fund. The CRF passed and includes: Continuation of testing, small business grants, workers and families, arts and entertainment venues and childcare providers.
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