California, New Jersey, Hawaii and New York residents are officially ordered to “shelter in place” or “stay at home.” In other states and cities, the closure of “nonessential” businesses and “self isolation” are the watchwords of the day. And across the world, countries are on lockdown, from the UK to India. Thesituation is changing rapidly, with governments tightening restrictions on where people can go and what residents should and shouldn’t do .
Are you on lockdown? On curfew? Do you need to self-quarantine? How do you know which businesses are essential? What exactly do all these words mean and which protocols are states adopting to?
Though legal definitions might vary from state to state, here’s what the most common restrictions mean and where in the US and around the world where they’re being used. This story is being updated frequently as the situation develops.
Shelter in place: From California to Louisiana to New York
Shelter in place is a fairly restrictive directive that instructs residents to stay at home and only leave for essential tasks, like going to necessary doctor’s appointments and the grocery store. In general, you can go on walks for errands and recreation while— and you can walk your dog. But many businesses, like gyms and movie theaters, are closed while residents stay at home. US states from New York to Hawaii have ordered residents to stay indoors.
While in general there’s no police enforcement for shelter in place, in some regions, such as the counties of the San Francisco Bay Area, you can be fined or imprisoned if you don’t comply.
California: San Francisco Bay Area communities started sheltering in place as of, expanding to a statewide mandate as of March 19. Seniors over 65 are ordered to stay indoors, except for walks and necessary appointments. Seniors are encouraged not to go to stores. On March 22, Gov. Gavin Newsom requested a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to get federal assistance with the crisis. Also on March 22, The White House declared a major disaster in the state of Washington, allowing it to receive federal aid.
Connecticut: Gov. Ned Lamont issued a “Stay Safe, Stay Home” order for March 23, closing nonessential businesses statewide and asking residents to avoid contact with others when outside.
Delaware: Starting March 24, Gov. John Carney ordered residents of the state to shelter in place and closed nonessential businesses. The state provided a list of what can and can’t remain open.
Hawaii: Gov. David Ige ordered anyone in the state — residents and tourists alike — to stay in their place of residence, including hotels, condominiums, townhomes, apartments or other multiunit dwellings, starting March 25. The governor had previously ordered anyone arriving in the state to self-quarantine.
Illinois: Starting March 21, Gov. J. B. Pritzker ordered a statewide shelter in place, with essential services like pharmacies and clinics remaining open.
Indiana: From March 25 to April 7, Gov. Eric Holcomb ordered residents to stay at home, except for essential services, and prohibited onsite dining.
Louisiana: On March 23, residents of Louisiana were ordered to shelter in place. Gov. John Bel Edwards had previously shuttered nonessential businesses such as casinos and closed schools.
Maryland: Stopping short of calling it “shelter in place,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan told residents to remain in their homes and ordered all nonessential businesses to close by 5 p.m. March 23.
Massachusetts: Gov. Charlie Baker directed residents to stay at home from March 24 to April 7 and ordered nonessential businesses to close during that period.
Michigan: Starting March 24 and extending for at least three weeks, the state ordered residents to stay home unless for an essential activity.
New Jersey: He didn’t officially use the term “shelter in place,” but Gov. Phil Murphy directed residents to stay at home and ordered nonessential businesses to close by 9 p.m. March 21.
New Mexico: Beginning March 24, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham instructed residents to stay at home and go out only when necessary. The governor assured residents they could still walk their dog or go on a jog. She also closed all nonessential businesses.
New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo put his state on “pause,” stopping short of a call for a statewide shelter in place. Instead he shuttered all nonessential businesses and ordered all nonessential workers to work from home as of March 22. On March 20, the White House declared that a major disaster exists in the state. The White House on March 24 requested any New Yorker who had recently left the area to self-quarantine.
Ohio: Starting March 23, the state requires residents to stay at home.
Oregon: Effective March 23, Gov. Kate Brown ordered Oregonians to stay at home, except for essential services and walks.
Washington: Hours after the Oregon order, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on March 23 issued a similar stay-at-home order.
West Virginia: Calling it a stay-at-home order, Gov. Jim Justice directed residents to stay indoors starting March 24, except for essential trips and exercise. The governor assured West Virginians a stay-at-home order is not martial law.
Wisconsin: In a series of tweets, Gov. Tony Evers said he would order residents to stay at home as of March 24.
At the regional level, cities and counties are also issuing stay-at-home orders, including Kansas City, Missouri, Miami Beach, Florida, St. Louis, San Antonio and a handful of counties in Pennsylvania.
Which states are directing quarantine?
Ais specifically used to restrict the movement of someone who’s apparently well, but has been exposed to a communicable disease, to limit its spread through contact.
Florida: Gov. Ron DeSantis on March 23 said he would sign an executive order requiring anyone flying from New York or New Jersey to Florida to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Hawaii: Starting March 26, anyone arriving in state — visitors or returning residents — are required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Kansas: The state requested that residents who recently visited California, Florida, New York or Washington or traveled on a cruise ship to quarantine in their homes for 14 days.
No states with curfew orders
A curfew is one of the most stringent of all emergency measures, mandating that residents stay indoors during certain nighttime hours. It may be enforced through a fine or arrest. While New Jersey Gov. Murphy recommended on March 16 that residents stay indoors overnight, the request wasn’t part of an official curfew order.
A few regions, however, are imposing curfews, including Kaua’i county in Hawaii, where the mayor of the county used the term “curfew” to require residents to stay indoors from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.; and South Fulton, Georgia, where residents are instructed to stay in their homes between the curfew hours of 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. Exceptions include performing an essential service, delivering food or household supplies or seeking medical attention.
Countries on lockdown and restrictions: What it means
Lockdown is a colloquial term to broadly describe companies, states and countries that are restricting business operations, transportation and the movement of people. In Europe, a handful of countries have mandated that people stay indoors, at times threatening to enforce the restriction with law enforcement.
France: Countrywide, people are required to have a certificate to leave their home for any reason, including to buy essential supplies and for walks outside their home, including with a pet. For a business trip, they must have a signed document from an employer. People can be fined for failing to comply. International travel is also restricted.
Germany: Not on lockdown but with restrictions similar to those California, Germans are required to avoid groups larger than two people, leave their homes only for essential services and exercise and practice social distancing. Restaurants are limited to takeout and delivery.
India: Beginning March 25, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a 21-day lockdown, closing nonessential businesses and requiring anyone who arrived in India after February 15 to self-quarantine, following local health-authority guidelines. Essential services such as grocery stores will remain open, as well as delivery services for food and medical supplies.
Italy: People also need a certificate to travel around, with checkpoints monitored by the authorities throughout the country to make sure residents comply. As in France, they can go on walks and bike rides, but are required to keep a safe distance from each other. Members of the military are helping with containment.
New Zealand: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern ordered nonessential businesses to close this week and instructed people to stay at home.
Portugal: While not on lockdown, in a decree by the government, people are required to stay indoors except for essential activities. Those over 70 have additional restrictions and can leave their homes only when necessary, to buy food, for example, for medical appointments and for short walks. As with many states, the government is closing nonessential businesses and limiting restaurants to takeout and delivery.
Spain: The country has closed nonessential businesses, allowing people to leave their homes only for essential services. Spain is considering using the police and military to enforce the stay-at-home mandate.
UK: Saying “you must stay at home,” on March 23 Prime Minister Boris Johnson instructed people to not leave their homes except for necessities such as groceries, medical care and exercise. Johnson said police will have the power to enforce the new rules.
Travel bans: US and European borders closed
With a travel ban, you are restricted from visiting other countries, except for essential business.
Europe: Joining France and Italy, thefor 30 days.
UK: The UK is advising residents to limit travel to countries and regions.
US: The federal government hasfor nonessential travel as well as banned travel to countries and regions it’s designated as high-risk areas including China, 26 European nations and the UK.
Essential vs. nonessential businesses and services
To check the spread of coronavirus, many states are closing down nonessential businesses, including shopping malls, theaters, sports arenas, nail and hair salons, bars and pubs, barbershops and casinos.
At the same time, states are allowing businesses that provide services necessary for the health and safety of residents to stay open, including:
- Grocery stores
- Hardware stores
- Stores that sell pharmacy and medical supplies
- Food pickup or delivery (including liquor takeout from bars in some states such as New York and California)
- Hospitals and medical centers
- Gas stations
- Pet stores
Jobs in “essential” services include those that keep infrastructure running, such as health care, food banks, sanitation, cleaning and construction. You can also drive to the gas station, walk the dog and engage in outdoor recreational exercise while practicing social distancing.
States that have closed nonessential businesses
A majority of states are restricting public gatherings, closing schools or limiting restaurants to only takeout and delivery, including Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming.
You don’t need to be ordered by your state or local authorities to stay safe. Here’s how to, how to and . If your state or region has coronavirus restrictions, let us know in a comment.
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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.