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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Confusion lingers as new statewide curfew begins Saturday night

This new order applies to 94 percent of the state, including San Diego, and effectively bans non-essential business and gatherings from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

SAN DIEGO — Beginning Saturday night, all California counties in the 'purple tier,' including San Diego, will fall under a statewide curfew.

While this new public health order bans all non-essential business and gatherings after 10 p.m., confusion remains over what will still be allowed. 

This new public health order is more limited in scope than the far more extensive stay-at-home order issued by state authorities back in March.

"It was very effective," said California Health & Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. "Californians came together, we were able to stay ahead of the curve and keep transmissions low."

Who does this curfew impact?

State and local leaders are hoping that this more targeted, less restrictive public health order has the same impact on California's COVID case rate.

"We are doing this to protect the entire region, to protect the entire state," said County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher.

This new order applies to those counties in the purple tier, which currently encompasses 94 percent of the state. The "soft curfew" from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. effectively bans all non-essential business and gatherings.

"We know that those who are out might be engaging in higher-risk behaviors, that those infections can quickly spread to other settings," Dr. Ghaly said. 

What is and what isn't allowed during the curfew?

Responding to confusion over the curfew, Dr. Ghaly has clarified that tasks such as walking your dog or picking up prescriptions at the drug store are still okay past 10 p.m.

"Yes, it does mean that I can still go to the grocery store if that store is still open to pick up milk or eggs or whatever I need," Dr. Ghaly said. 

While restaurants must cease service to customers on-premises, pick-up and delivery are still allowed. 

"We urge people in a limited way to use restaurants in that way, and for all you restaurant operators and owners, this is certainly an opportunity to keep some of your business going," Dr. Ghaly explained.

Will you get kicked out of a restaurant at 10 p.m.?

For those customers leaving a restaurant at 10 p.m., they will be given some leeway to get back home.

"Hopefully they are doing it in a safe way," he added, "they go straight to their home and that within the reason of this public health order that they take it seriously first and foremost and get home as soon as possible."

This curfew also applies to personal gatherings with other households at individuals' homes, according to state leaders.

"The spirit of the order is that if people are visiting your house for a gathering that goes beyond 10 p.m. but they are expected to go home that night, we want it to end by 10 p.m.," Dr. Ghaly said.

This curfew runs from this Saturday evening beginning at 10 p.m. through December 21 at 5 a.m. However, state leaders stressed that it could be extended if necessary. depending on our statewide Coronavirus case rate.