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Here's what you can and can't do under curfew in NYC

Confused by the rules? This is what you need to know.

Written by
Howard Halle

As if dealing with an ongoing stay-at-home order over the past several months wasn't enough, New Yorkers now have to contend with a citywide curfew put in place Monday by Mayor Bill De Blasio. Ostensibly, the policy is meant to stem the vandalism and looting that has followed otherwise peaceful and legitimate protests against the killing of George Floyd. As with the original "Pause," however, there's been a great deal of confusion over how and to whom the latest rules are being applied—mostly because they were drawn up hastily, and released mere hours before they were meant to go into effect.

So what is it that you can and cannot do under curfew? We're glad you asked.

What are the hours for the curfew, and how long will it last?

With the exception of the homeless and essential workers going to and from work, all New Yorkers are expected to remain indoors between 8pm and 5am every evening. For now, the order is in effect until 5am on June 8. Traffic in Manhattan below 96th Street is also being prohibited during those hours.

What happens if I'm still outside after 8pm?

So far, the curfew is being enforced in areas in which large crowds have gathered, so if you're among them, you will be asked to go home; non-compliance will result in a summons. If you still refuse to leave after that, expect to be arrested for a Class B misdemeanor, which carries maximum penalties of up to three months in jail or one year probation.

What about transportation?

Basically, if you're not an essential worker, you need to hightail it back home before sunset. If you are an essential worker, subways (which remain closed between 1 and 5am each night) and buses will be running for you as usual, as will Yellow and Green Cabs. Uber and Lyft, however, are not allowed to operate between 8pm to 12:30am. Citibike and Revel scooters aren’t being allowed to operate during curfew at all.

How about food?

Delivery workers are considered essential, so you can still get food brought to your door. Going out to get groceries or takeout, however, is not allowed—unless (again) you are an essential worker. Otherwise, you'll have to dispense with that midnight munchie run to your local bodega.

Can I still walk my dog?

Yes, but it’s best to be quick about it!

How about just going for a walk?


Can I sit on my stoop or balcony or go in my backyard?

This is where things gets tricky. Officially, the curfew applies to public areas, which the aforementioned are not. So, you're probably good to go, but you should definitely use your best judgment based on any surrounding street activity.

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