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Earlier today the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group issued a new curfew which is effective between 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. However, “going to the grocery store, pharmacy, or to/from another essential activity, is still allowed during curfew hours.” You can read a press release regarding the order here.
However, Hillsborough County has already issued a Safer-at-Home order requiring residents of the County to stay home 24/7 except for certain enumerated activities. So what difference does the curfew make if it exempts essential activities?
The only thing I can find in the Hillsborough County order which is not deemed essential but is still allowed, besides going to the grocery store or pharmacy, is recreating outside as long as physical distancing is observed. So if we look at the Hillsborough orders alone, the curfew only prevents recreating outside between the hours of 9 pm and 5 am even if social distancing is maintained. I don’t see what other difference the curfew makes.
The Governor’s Safer-at-Home order names outdoor recreational activities “essential.” The Governor’s order preempted County orders. If recreating outside is thus considered an essential service by the state, I’m not sure what difference the curfew makes at all.
Hopefully once a formal order is published the public will have more clarity.
April 13, 2020