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Mayor Durkan Announces Curfew on Saturday and Sunday to Protect Health and Safety of Residents

Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins, Mayor Jenny Durkan, and Assistant SPD Chief Lesley Cordner at a press conference on May 30, 2020

Update June 1: Mayor Jenny A. Durkan has extended the citywide curfew order effective Monday from 6:00 p.m. to Tuesday 5:00 a.m. The original order was announced as part of a civil emergency on Saturday, May 30.

Yesterday, community members across Seattle came together to grieve, to protest and to commit themselves to the cause of justice. Coming together is a right we all honor and cherish. For hours, individuals marched and gathered peacefully. They grieved and built community that is so necessary during these trying times.

However, late in the afternoon, some demonstrations swiftly turned violent and led to multiple fires being intentionally set downtown.  In response, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced a 5:00 p.m. curfew effective for Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31. The curfew will be in effect from 5:00 pm – 5:00 am. During those hours residents and visitors are asked not to travel in and through downtown Seattle.  

This temporary curfew is intended to preserve the safety of our residents by keeping our streets safe and accessible for essential workers and first responders and preventing the further spread of COVID-19. 

The temporary curfew does not impact people who 

  1. need to commute to work during these hours, 
  2. are experiencing homelessness, 
  3. are  in a medical emergency or a dangerous situation. 

The curfew does not require businesses to close, and it will not alter public transit. 

The Mayor asks all residents and visitors to voluntarily follow the curfew. The City does not intend to enforce the curfew, except for violations that result in public health and safety threats.

Governors Inslee has also authorized the deployment of 200 members of the National Guard to support the City’s response. They will be unarmed and support the protection of infrastructure, traffic flow and crowd management. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does the curfew apply throughout the entire City of Seattle?  

Yes. The Mayor’s Proclamation of Civil Emergency and the accompanying curfew applies to the entire city limits. 

When does the curfew apply? 

The new curfew order is  effective between the hours of from 6:00 p.m. on Monday, June 1 and ends at 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 2. During the curfew hours, residents should refrain from traveling in and through Seattle. 

Will there be additional curfews on other days?

Depending on how events unfold, there may be additional days that the curfew may be effective. Protecting the health and safety of our community is the highest priority for the City. 

How will the curfew be enforced? 

The Mayor and Chiefs ask all residents and visitors to voluntarily abide by the curfew. The City does not intend to enforce the curfew, except for violations that result in public health and safety threats including fires, extensive property damage, and violence.

What should I do during the curfew? 

You should remain in your residence and adhere to the curfew to help protect the safety of our community. You should not travel on any public streets, alley, or roadways or to any public place. The curfew is necessary to prevent fires, widespread property damage, and violence in the City, and is being imposed in order to protect Seattle residents.   

I’m scheduled to work during the curfew. Can I still travel to today go to work? Can my employees still report to work during the curfew?

Yes, people are allowed to travel to and from work during the curfew.

I use public transportation, or a ride-hailing app, for transportation. Am I allowed to use those during the curfew? 

Yes, you can use public transportation like Metro, Sound Transit or a ride-hailing app like Lyft or Uber, to travel during the curfew hours, except no person is allowed in public places when the curfew is in effect. These methods of transportation will continue to operate unless circumstances require them to be closed to protect public health and safety.

Are businesses required to close during the curfew?  

The curfew does not require essential businesses to close. However, essential businesses will not be allowed to have customers during the curfew hours. Due to safety concerns and risks business owners are strongly encouraged to secure their place of business and stay in a safe place. 

What if I need to go to the hospital or urgent care clinic during the curfew?  

You are allowed to seek emergency and urgent medical care during the curfew.

I am experiencing homelessness and don’t have a place to go inside. How does the curfew apply to me? 

People experiencing homelessness are not impacted by the curfew. However, the City does ask those living unsheltered to help protect the safety of the community by voluntarily restricting their travel in public places during the curfew.    

Are there other exemptions from the curfew? 

The curfew does not apply to law enforcement, fire fighters, military personnel, emergency personnel, medical personnel, City and government officials with valid identification, or members of the news media authorized in advance by the Office of the Mayor or the Chief of Seattle Police Department or their designee.

What if I want to patrol or protect my neighborhood and local businesses? 

During this time of rioting, violence, and widespread property destruction, please stay home and abide by the curfew. Connect with your neighbors via call or text. If you are checking on your business or working at a business, please be aware of your surroundings at all times and call 9-1-1 if you fear for your safety. 

Why is the National Guard being deployed?

Mayor Durkan and Chief of Police Carmen Best submitted a request to the State Emergency Operations Center for 200 unarmed National Guard personnel. The request has been granted by Governor Inslee. National Guard members will not be armed and only assist with protecting infrastructure and traffic and crowd management. Their primary role is help with safe movement of people ensuring that people have the right to peacefully demonstrate. We expect some members to deploy this evening.

Has anyone been arrested for violating the curfew?

No, the Seattle Police Department has made zero arrests related to the curfew since it was established on Saturday, May 30. Our intention with the curfew is to educate and encourage voluntary compliance, not enforcement. The goal of the curfew is to keep people safe and healthy.