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Portland, Maine, imposes curfew starting on St. Patrick's Day

Portland, Maine, imposes curfew starting on St. Patrick's Day

Portland, Me., will impose a curfew beginning Tuesday to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, officials announced Monday.

“This is in light of the need to practice social distancing in order to lessen community spread and flatten out the curve for COVID-19, the global pandemic,” City Manager Jon Jennings told reporters Monday, according to the Bangor Daily News.

The curfew will take effect from 6 a.m. on Tuesday through 2 a.m. Wednesday city officials said, with a separate daily curfew taking effect Wednesday through Saturday that bars gatherings between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m.

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The day-long curfew is an attempt to discourage gatherings for St. Patrick’s Day, according to Jennings, who added that restaurants will still be able to offer takeout and delivery service. The curfew will be police-enforced, with violations punishable by fines of up to $500 per day.

The state’s largest city has also strongly recommended restaurants either bar or “dramatically limit” dine-in customers, as well as close gyms and fitness centers. Portland will also delay collecting property taxes until June, according to the newspaper, with a moratorium on license registration during the same period.

Numerous jurisdictions, and in some cases entire states, have ordered restaurants and bars closed in response to the spread of the virus, with New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Ohio among those announcing such moves in recent days.