California Governor Announces Nightly Curfew Starting Saturday

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the curfew that will run from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. every night.

dining patrons being served by a waiter wearing a face mask and shield
Photo: David Livingston/Getty

Starting Saturday night, most Californians will be on a “limited stay-at-home order,” adhering to a new curfew due to a recent rise in COVID-19 cases.

On Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the curfew that will run from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. every night. The order is set to remain in place until Dec. 21.

The restriction applies to all counties in California’s “purple” zone, the state's most restrictive tier. Forty-one counties are currently deemed "purple zones" which make up where 94% of Californians reside.

The curfew impacts “non-essential work and gatherings” and was specifically developed to stop social events where drinking could impair judgement regarding COVID-19 precautions. The new ruling will not close any businesses, but it will force nonessential businesses to close their doors by 10 p.m.

Restaurants will be allowed to offer take-out after that time. And residents will still be allowed to grocery shop, pick up medical supplies, and take care of other essentials during the curfew hours.

“The virus is spreading at a pace we haven’t seen since the start of this pandemic, and the next several days and weeks will be critical to stop the surge. We are sounding the alarm,” Newsom said in a statement Thursday. “It is crucial that we act to decrease transmission and slow hospitalizations before the death count surges. We’ve done it before and we must do it again.”

Earlier this week, the governor rolled back California’s reopening plan and moved many counties to the most restrictive tier. Last week, California issued a travel advisory, urging against non-essential out-of-state travel. Those who enter California from another state or country are urged to self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival.

Compliance with the limited lockdown is likely to be voluntary, with sheriffs of counties like Los Angeles, El Dorado, Orange, and Sacramento saying they won’t enforce the ruling, according to The Associated Press.

On Thursday, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva tweeted that since March, “we have focused on education and voluntary compliance, with criminal enforcement measures being an extreme last resort. We trust in the community and rely on people to assess risk and take precautions as appropriate.”

California has reported a total of more than 1 million coronavirus cases and more than 18,000 deaths this year, according to the state health department. On Thursday, California reported 11,478 new cases.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, on Instagram, or at

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