Hoboken, New Jersey has become the first in the U.S. to impose a curfew amid the coronavirus outbreak, Michelle Mark writes at Insider.com.
Office of Emergency Management will enforce a daily curfew from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m.
During this timeframe, residents must reportedly remain in their homes unless there’s an emergency or they’re required to work at night.
The decision was announced by the city mayor, Ravinder Bhalla.
“I completely recognize that these measures will result in substantial changes and inconveniences to our daily lives,” he tweeted.
“However, these measures are being taken to save lives & protect our residents.”
Bhalla said that police responded to a bar fight in downtown Hoboken and at least one person required emergency services.
Bhalla addes that “our EMS is inundated with service calls.”
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“This is unfortunately a contributing factor why we cannot continue bar operations which can trigger calls for service that are delayed in part because of this public health crisis.
Earlier on Saturday, Bhalla announced that all gyms, health clubs, day cares, and movie theaters would also be shuttered.
Hoboken officials later clarified that dog-walking would also be allowed, and that the goal of the curfew was instead to prevent activities like house parties.
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Bhalla also announced severe restrictions on restaurants and bars, with none being allowed to serve food within their premises.
In a series of tweets Saturday evening, Bhalla explained his rationale, saying “the time is now” to try to protect residents.
I completely recognize that these measures will result in substantial changes and inconveniences to our daily lives. However, these measures are being taken to save lives & protect our residents. Thank you to everyone for your support and cooperation during this challenging time
— Ravinder S. Bhalla (@RaviBhalla) March 15, 2020