COLUMBUS — Gov. Mike DeWine’s three week 10 pm to 5 am curfew takes effect with only a few exceptions listed in the order. The formal wording was released at 5:06 pm Thursday, more than 48 hours after DeWine first announced it was coming.
The order is actually signed, not by the governor, but instead by Stephanie McCloud, director of the Ohio Department of Health. It states “unless you need to go to work or obtain necessary food, medical care or social services, you must stay home at night.”
The exceptions follow the same lines as the previous “Stay At Home” order issued very early in the pandemic. It permits travel after 10 pm to grocery stores, pharmacies, and for medical emergencies. Outright exemptions include religious observances, First Amendment Free Speech events and activity of the media. Otherwise, people must remain at home until 5 am. People who are homeless are exempt.
Travel after 10 pm is permitted into and out of the state. Other trips that are permitted are to and from work, to comply with court orders such as child custody arrangements, and to care for a family member, friend, or their pets.
At his briefing Thursday, DeWine said police will enforce the order but will not make a traffic stop if people are out driving after 10 pm. “Police will not pull someone over if they are driving at night. We should assume they have a reason that they need to be out there,” DeWine said. In most cases, DeWine said, an officer at most would tell someone who appears to be in violation of the curfew to “go home.”
Participation in sporting events, going to movies, concerts, or late night family gatherings did not make the list of legitimate reasons for being out past 10 pm.
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