- San Francisco police has begun ticketing some who are violating the regionwide shelter-in-place order directing people to stay in their homes to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease.
- A business and at least one person have been issued a citation within the past 24 hours.
- Since the city’s shelter-in-place went into effect on March 17, law enforcement has relied upon resident compliance to enforce the order.
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After primarily relying on voluntary compliance and education to enforce a shelter-in-place order, San Francisco is now issuing citations to those violating the order’s guidelines.
“The last time I was in front of you I predicted there would come a time where we have to cite,” San Francisco police chief Bill Scott said at a Friday press conference, according to the San Francisco Examiner. “That time has come, and we have begun citing.”
Scott said that a citation was given to a business and “at least one” person within the past 24 hours, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The order directs residents to stay home as much as possible, to only leave for essential needs, and to practice social distancing. It also requires nonessential businesses, which includes nightclubs and dine-in restaurants, to close.
“We understand that not everybody is watching the news,” Scott said on Friday. “That’s why we are giving the benefit of the doubt.”
But, he said, “we have to abide by these public health orders.” He said police are warning residents, but will not warn them more than once.
The San Francisco Bay Area is on week 3 of a shelter-in-place order that went into effect on March 17. It was originally set to expire on April 7, but has since been extended to May 3. That extension that could eventually be pushed back even further.
In the region, as well as elsewhere, there have been incidents of residents failing to adapt to the order and remain home, limiting unnecessary trips into public. On the first weekend after the order went into effect, mass outings were observed at parks and beaches as people sought some fresh air following a week spent indoors.
Stricter rules have since been put in place, like the closure of dog parks and playgrounds, and parking areas at some open spaces have been shut down.
There are currently 497 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in San Francisco, with 7 reported deaths.