Countywide Curfew: Frequently Asked Questions
A curfew, applying to all cities, towns and unincorporated areas in San Mateo County, is in effect today (Tuesday, June 2) from 8:30 p.m. until 5 a.m. Wednesday (June 3) and again from 8:30 p.m. Wednesday (June 3) until 5 a.m. Thursday (June 4).
While we remain hopeful that protests will be peaceful, the County is aware of specific threats of civil unrest, including plans to conduct coordinated looting, property damage, and other violent activities at various retail locations across the County beginning on the night of June 2, 2020.
To whom does the curfew apply?
It is unlawful for any person, other than those specified below, to be upon any public street, avenue, boulevard, place, walkway, alley or park, or to be in any public area or unimproved private realty during the hours that the curfew is in effect. The order does not apply to:
a. Peace officers; fire fighters; emergency operations personnel; the National Guard or other military personnel deployed to the area;
b. Individuals traveling to and from work;
c. Authorized members of the media;
d. Individuals traveling to and from the airport;
e. Individuals experiencing homelessness and without access to a viable shelter; and
f. Individuals seeking medical attention or providing necessary care for another individual in another household.
May businesses stay open after 8:30 p.m. on evenings when the curfew is in effect?
Yes. Businesses may stay open after 8:30 p.m. The County’s curfew order makes it unlawful for any person to whom the curfew applies to be out on a public street, avenue, boulevard, place, walkway, alley or park, or to otherwise be in any public space or unimproved private property between the hours of 8:30 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. the next morning. However, nothing in the order requires businesses located on improved private property that operate during those hours to close. Moreover, employees of such businesses may travel to and from work during the hours that the curfew is in effect. (For example, a manufacturing business that operates a night shift could continue to do so under the curfew order.)
Consumer-serving businesses (gas stations, grocery stores, convenience stores, etc.), may remain open during the hours that the curfew is in effect, but most individuals will be required to remain off of the streets during those hours and will, consequently, not be able to frequent consumer-serving businesses.
Under the curfew order, individuals may seek medical care and business such as hospitals, pharmacies, and urgent care facilities may stay continue to operate.
May operations that are part of the supply chain delivering goods to businesses operating during the day, like trucks delivering food to grocery stores, continue during the curfew?
Yes, delivery drivers who are traveling to and from locations where they deliver goods may continue to do so under the exception for traveling to and from work.
What is the penalty for violating the curfew?
Any violation of this curfew Order is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of up to six (6) months in jail, a fine of up to five hundred ($500) dollars, or both, as provided by Section 2.46.120 of the San Mateo County Ordinance Code.
Who has the authority to declare a curfew?
San Mateo Ordinance Code Section 2.46.070 authorizes the Director of Emergency Services (the County Manager) to declare a general curfew for not more than 72 hours in the area(s) where emergency conditions have been proclaimed for the protection of persons and property. The County is aware of specific threats of civil unrest, including plans to conduct coordinated looting, property damage, and other violent activities at various retail locations across the County beginning on the night of June 2, 2020.