TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Jan. 15 marks one month since the Pima County Board of Supervisors implemented a county-wide mandatory curfew to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Since the curfew went into effect on Dec. 15, bars and restaurants have filed a lawsuit against Pima County. They say their business is only being hurt by the reduced hours.
“We’re losing 4 hours a day every day of the week, so it is kind of brutal to be honest,” said Billy Elliot, the Owner of Elliot’s on Congress.
For Elliot, the past year has been quite the challenge, but in the last month since the curfew began it’s been even harder to stay afloat.
“We rely on late-night business,” said Elliot. That includes the hours from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m.
“I don’t know if the curfew is affecting, because the people that would go to a restaurant or bar, will go earlier in the day or have gatherings at home,” said Elliot.
According to the county, in the one month since the curfew started, contact-tracing found that nearly 24 percent of people identified with COVID-19 had recently dined in at a restaurant or bar. Before the curfew, it was 26 percent.
The county said the slight decrease is a step in a healthful direction. However, Elliot does not believe a curfew is the answer.
“This curfew is targeting a very specific industry, restaurants and bars, because those are the industries that rely more on those hours,” said Elliot.
The county confirms no businesses have violated the curfew, and two complaints have been filed. One of them is under investigation.
Pima County’s curfew will continue being in effect from 10 p.m. until 5 p.m. daily until further notice - at least until COVID-19 cases fall below 100 per 100,000 residents.