Will Statewide Curfews Return?

Mia Peterson, Staff Writer

With the number of Covid-19 cases reaching nearly 400,000 in Massachusetts, Governor Baker has extended restrictions on social gatherings: no more than 10 people can meet indoors, and there is a 25-person limit to outdoor gatherings. Last fall, there were additional restrictions, including a statewide curfew to keep people from congregating during late hours. If COVID cases continue to rise, Governor Baker may reinstate curfews. 

The curfew ordered citizens to stay home between 10:00 pm and 5:00 am. It also ordered businesses to close at 9:30 pm every night and not to reopen until 5:00 am the next morning. Restaurants are being hit hard during the pandemic, as they suffer great loss in income and tips, making these circumstances extra hard for restaurant employees.

In the fall, there were a lot of mixed feelings surrounding curfew orders. Some people believed they would help limit parties and large group gatherings, while others believed that shutting down restaurants increased unregulated gatherings. Baker’s decision came following Halloween weekend when kids all over the state socialized and congregated in groups. Consequently, increased COVID cases affected schools–including schools on the South Shore. With more restaurants closing over the winter due to the pandemic, will even more unregulated groups meet in private settings?

SHS students expressed annoyance with curfews, as they limit when they can see their friends during the weekend. The majority of students play sports, participate in clubs, and work during the week, so they see the weekends as a time to have free time and relax with their friends (in small gatherings and socially distanced of course). To many, a statewide curfew produces questions: Will I be in trouble if I’m out after 10:00 pm? Will I get pulled over? 

 However, the goal of statewide curfews is to limit big groups, stop the spread of the virus, and keep everyone safe.