- Hoboken, New Jersey, will implement a 10 p.m. curfew and restrict restaurants to takeout and delivery only amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- Starting March 14, residents must remain in their homes unless there's an emergency or they're required to work at night, according to Mayor Ravinder Bhalla.
- "I completely recognize that these measures will result in substantial changes and inconveniences to our daily lives," Bhalla tweeted, adding that the rules were meant to "save lives & protect our residents."
- The restrictions appear to be the most drastic of any US city so far.
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The New Jersey city of Hoboken has become the first in the United States to implement a curfew amid the coronavirus outbreak sweeping the country.
Mayor Ravinder Bhalla announced the measure Saturday evening, and said the Office of Emergency Management will enforce a daily curfew from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m., where residents must remain in their homes unless there's an emergency or they're required to work at night.
Hoboken officials later clarified that dog-walking would also be allowed, and that the goal of the curfew was instead to prevent activities like house parties.
Bhalla also announced severe restrictions on restaurants and bars, with none being allowed to serve food within their premises.
In a series of tweets Saturday evening, Bhalla explained his rationale, saying "the time is now" to try to protect residents.
"I completely recognize that these measures will result in substantial changes and inconveniences to our daily lives," he tweeted. "However, these measures are being taken to save lives & protect our residents."
Bhalla said in his statement that one incident that highlighted the need for the measures occurred Saturday evening, when police responded to a bar fight in downtown Hoboken.
At least one person required emergency services, but police had to wait more than 30 minutes "because our EMS is inundated with service calls," Bhalla said.
"This is unfortunately a contributing factor why we cannot continue bar operations which can trigger calls for service that are delayed in part because of this public health crisis.
Earlier on Saturday, Bhalla announced that all gyms, health clubs, day cares, and movie theaters would also be shuttered.
The actions mimic certain coronavirus measures implemented in countries such as Italy, France, and Spain.
Though Hoboken has not taken the more drastic measure of closing all shops and public spaces, the curfew and restaurant restrictions appear to be the most severe of any US city so far.
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