New state curfew in effect, frustrated businesses comply

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Some businesses, like The Modernist, changed their hours to comply with the new curfew

FRESNO, California (KGPE) — The state of California is officially under curfew. As of Saturday, non-essential activities are not allowed between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. for a month in an attempt to curb COVID-19 infection.

While many Central Valley law enforcement agencies have already said they won’t enforce the curfew, many businesses have changed things like their hours to comply — no matter how frustrating it is.

Ever since the new curfew was announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday, the curfew has come under a lot of heat. Once the curfew started, a group of about two dozen people gathered on the southeast corner of Blackstone and Shaw avenues in Fresno to protest it.

They gathered for close to an hour, many drivers honked in support and against the group.

“We’re out here to let Gov. Newsom know…that we won’t comply to any of his orders. It’s against our constitutional rights,” said Tom Harden, he organized the gathering.

Amid the criticism, many city leaders — as well as law enforcement leaders — have said police officers and sheriff’s deputies will not be enforcing the curfew.

“We are not going to make criminals out of normally law-abiding citizens. We’ve got a lot of things to do, including taking guns away from gang members, stopping narcotic trafficking, and saving children from internet predators,” said Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims.

Many agencies said they lack the manpower to enforce the curfew. But one agency that will enforce it is the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, or ABC. Their officers will be visiting bars and restaurants while the curfew is in effect to make sure they’re complying.

ABC has been checking if state orders are being followed during the pandemic.

One bar ABC won’t have to worry about is The Modernist in Downtown Fresno. In light of the curfew, they modified their usual weekend hours to 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. to comply.

Co-owner Po Tsai said they’ll happily comply to keep their staff and customers safe. However, it’s been frustrating as a business owner in this pandemic.

“We hope and implore the policy makers to provide guidance in a way that allows us to operate a business, as opposed to kind of changing the game every couple of weeks,” he said.

The curfew is slated to end Dec. 21 at 5 a.m.

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