Hillsborough officials expect curfew, stay-at-home orders to begin Friday at 10 p.m.

Coronavirus

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Hillsborough County leaders voted unanimously to enact stay at home and curfew orders countywide beginning Friday night.

The language of the orders have not been finalized, as an official vote is expected to come Thursday at 1:30 p.m. It is expected to pass.

The orders, when in place, are scheduled to go in effect Friday at 10 p.m.

‘Stay at home’ and ‘curfew’ orders in Hillsborough County explained:

Based on a draft by Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill, a “safer at home” order would mean the following for businesses:

If you are a non-essential business:

  • Work from home
  • If that is not possible you may continue to work if a. workers can reasonably maintain six feet of distance and b. there are no more than ten workers at a time
  • If the nature of the service does not allow a. six feet social distance and b. ten or fewer employees at a time, then you can not operate. This can be punishable by penalties and fines

If you are an essential business:

Under that language, professions like hairdressers and local salons would have to stop working for now.

Stephen Dean is a Tampa stylist who run his own salon-suite. In some ways, he tells 8 On Your Side he welcomes the order because his appointments were already slashed in half but without some sort of mandate from local government, he still had to pay rent on his suite.

“At least now it can be a time frame where the city shuts down, we get it over, with we get it done,” he said. “And then we can get back to business, which I personally think is awesome.”

What the curfew means:

All non-essential travel (travel that’s not for food, medicine, essential supplies, employment) would be banned 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Friday and the entire weekend.

Leaders were adamant Wednesday that their focus is education and encouragement as opposed to enforcement of the curfew. Police will not be throwing people in jail over the curfew.

“In the eventuality it needs to be enforced, we can enforce it,” Merrill said. “But initially it will be education.”

The language in the directive can change by the time the Emergency Policy Group votes Thursday afternoon.

The Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group is made up of three county commissioners, the mayors of Plant City, Tampa, and Temple Terrace, the sheriff, and chairman of the school board.

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