San Mateo County has set a two-day curfew for tonight and Wednesday night. It begins at 8:30 p.m. and ends at 5 a.m. each day. County officials say it is necessary to help maintain the health and safety of residents and prevent property damage and looting.
County Manager Mike Callagy issued the order late Tuesday afternoon after consultation with supervisors and Sheriff Carlos Bolanos. Callagy says the county has specific threats of planned civil unrest that include plans for property damage and looting at retail locations throughout the county.
“The county takes our residents’ civil liberties extremely seriously and we want to protect their right to peacefully demonstrate over the heartbreaking and preventable death of George Floyd and other violent acts in our nation. However, we also take their safety seriously, and this order is a tool to help prevent looting and civil unrest by those who would take advantage of this highly emotional and tragic period of time,” Callagy said in a prepared release.
Callagy said the decision to implement the curfew was not taken lightly and is based on looting and other criminal activities in the county as well as that in neighboring jurisdictions.
Several categories of people are exempt from the order, including peace officers, firefighters, emergency operations personnel, the National Guard or other military personnel deployed to the area, individuals traveling to a home, workplace or the airport, people traveling to get emergency medical care or to care for another individual in another household, the media, and the homeless.
The curfew applies to the entire county, both the unincorporated areas and each of its cities. Cities can implement stricter curfew based on their local needs.
Workers can come and go to their workplaces during the curfew, but businesses cannot remain open to the public during the hours of the curfew, with the exception of medical facilities, including pharmacies and urgent care.
Read the text of the order here.