By Joe Vazquez

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – California Governor Gavin Newsom said Monday he is considering a curfew for the state, given the sharp increase in cases of COVID-19.

“We also are considering, full disclosure and a bit of a preview, the notion of a curfew,” Newsom said during a news conference during which he announced new restrictions in much of the state. “We have a lot of questions about what that looks like, what it doesn’t look like. Who does it impact, who doesn’t it impact? What does a real curfew look like, just certain kinds of industry and business activities?”

“Any restriction, it hurts our businesses,” said Haci Kurt of Ristorante Rocca.

In New York, restaurants and bars have a 10 o’clock curfew. If customers stay later, the establishment faces a $10,000 fine. Other states and countries have curfews, too, which the governor of California now says he is studying.

“On my desk, I have three studies from around the world that have talked about the efficacy of strategies for curfews,” Newsom said. “Two states have curfews. A lot of cities also have certain curfews. We want to socialize that and figure it out and the impact it would have. We want the data to play out.”

But for some, a curfew is a bridge too far.

“I think when we talk about a curfew, that’s absolutely the wrong approach,” San Mateo CountY Supervisor David Canepa said.

Canepa insists it’s the indoor gatherings that are proving to be the problem. So he worries a curfew on the streets will drive more people to gather indoors.

“We have an important responsibility as elected officials to make sure that we focus on the gatherings, on wearing our damn masks. But for a curfew. I think that’s a huge, huge reach,” said Supervisor Canepa.

Experts contacted by KPIX5 said there are not enough details to know whether a curfew would be effective. But it’s a sure sign that state officials are worried and taking this current surge of COVID-19 very seriously.

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