Here's What COVID-19 Curfew Rules Have Been Like In Other Countries

There are some... interesting curfew exceptions in the United States.
Senior Editor
Here's What COVID-19 Curfew Rules Have Been Like In Other Countries

As Quebec heads toward what's expected to be a fresh new round of lockdown restrictions, it could join the ranks of countries and areas with COVID-19 curfew rules, according to multiple reports.

The Quebec government hasn't confirmed any details of its possible curfew ahead of a 5:00 p.m. Wednesday press conference, but around the world, jurisdictions with their own curfew orders offer some possible scenarios.

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Below is a survey of curfew restrictions (and exceptions) that have been in place in five countries: Algeria, Belgium, France, the United Kingdom and the United States.

This list of rules is by no means complete. Also note that these curfew restrictions may have expired or changed.

The most up-to-date information can always be found on relevant government or public health websites.

But here, at least, is an example of how different governments have gone about their curfews.

Algeria

In mid-November, Algeria imposed "partial home lockdowns" on a province-by-province basis. These lockdowns have taken effect between 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.

The provinces (wilayas) also had the power to "take all measures required by [their] sanitary situation" to establish or modify lockdowns in targeted communities.

Certain businesses in these wilayas, including restaurants, salons and home goods stores, also had to "cease all activity" after 3:00 p.m.

Belgium

A 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. curfew went into effect in the Brussels region at the end of October, according to a press release from regional Minister-President Rudi Vervoort.

All businesses had to close at 8:00 p.m., with the exception of hotels and restaurants, which could continue take-out until 10:00 p.m.

France

France instituted curfews in December.

Since January 2, curfews have begun at either 6:00 p.m. or 8:00 p.m., depending on the département, and lasted until 6:00 a.m.

The government previously outlined specific exceptions to the curfew for:

  • "commuting to and from work, school or training place; carrying out essential business trips that cannot be postponed;

  • "medical appointments that cannot be carried out remotely or postponed;

  • "essential family reasons, assisting vulnerable persons, persons in a precarious situation or taking care of children;

  • "persons with a disability and their accompanying person;

  • "judicial or administrative summons;

  • "participating in a mission of general interest upon request from an administrative authority;

  • "air or rail transit related to long distance journeys;" and

  • "walking a pet outdoors within 1km of one’s place of residence and for a brief amount of time."

Residents needed to fill out an "exemption certificate" for these activities.

Those who violate the curfew could face a fine of 135 euros for a first offence, 200 euros for a second offence and 3,750 euros plus six months imprisonment for a third offence.

United Kingdom

Between December 26 and January 2, Northern Ireland imposed what its government called a "stay at home curfew" between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

Between these hours, all gatherings were banned and "essential retail" had to close.

Take-out and delivery were banned too.

"Grocery click and collect services" could continue after 8:00 p.m. but only "for orders already placed."

Gas stations could stay open "for fuel and air."

Sports activities were also banned but "elite training" could continue outside curfew hours.

United States

The U.S. is a patchwork of COVID-19 restrictions. Rules vary by state, county and municipality.

The most recent information can be found on these jurisdictions' websites, but here's a snapshot of rules that have been in place in recent months.

In November, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a "limited stay at home order" for certain counties between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.

According to the state's public health department, the order included a ban on non-essential "activities conducted outside the residence, lodging, or temporary accommodation with members of other households."

However, the order made clear that it did not "prevent" people "from leaving their residence [...] as long as they [did] not engage in any interaction with (or otherwise gather with)" people from other households.

Across the country, Ohio issued a curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., but there were numerous exceptions.

The curfew did "not apply to those going to and from work" nor to anyone "getting groceries or going to the pharmacy."

Restaurants were allowed to continue take-out and delivery during the curfew hours.

In Miami-Dade County, Florida, meanwhile, a curfew order that went into effect in mid-October stated that "no person" was allowed to "make use of any street or sidewalk for any purpose" between midnight and 6:00 a.m.

But in addition to exceptions for essential workers and travel, people walking dogs or going to "any religious service," there was also a striking exception for people "travelling to and from any sporting event sponsored by the NCAA, Major League Baseball, or the National Football League, or any other national professional sports league or organization."

Quebec Premier François Legault is expected to announce new lockdown restrictions in a press conference at 5:00 p.m. on January 6, 2021.

Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your trip.

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