SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — As coronavirus cases continue to rise, California is imposing a nighttime curfew that requires everyone — except those on essential errands — to stay at home from 10 p.m. till 5 a.m.
This comes just a few days after Santa Barbara County was placed back in the restrictive purple tier.
"That's going to affect a lot of businesses who are barely surviving out here in Santa Barbara,” local resident Paul Carrera said.
Karrar Kashifalghita is visiting town from Los Angeles and isn’t pleased with how the COVID-19 pandemic has been handled in California.
"I don't like seeing these businesses fall down,” Kashifalghita said. “If everyone could just use masks and hand sanitizer maybe we could be good."
Institution Ale general manager Daniel Bridges understands why the state government is promoting precaution.
"I can see why they're doing it,” Bridges said. “As the night goes on, the crowd seems to get a little more partying, rules kind of go out the window a little more."
For the time being, indoor dining isn't allowed in the county.
As a result, seating capacity has been severely cut down at The Cruisery.
"We went from a capacity of 300 to now we have 28 seats,” The Cruisery's owner Aron Ashland said. “Weather permitting, we can try to make our rent with 28 seats."
With the rules being readjusted, Ashland feels that his budget was wasted while investing indoors.
Now, he’s been forced to layoff most of his employees.
"I think we were up 25 people and now we're down to 7,” Ashland said. “We laid off more than about three quarters of our staff."
This has some upset about California’s limited stay-at-home order.
"We also have to look at people's jobs, how they're going to make ends meet,” Carrera said. “All these restrictions are going to effect that."
As a result of the curfew, almost all restaurants won’t be seating people past 9:15 p.m.
"It has been a little busier the past few days because people are anticipating a curfew,” Bridges said.
"If the cops come out at 10 o'clock tonight and we gotta go home, it is what it is,” Kashifalghita concluded.
The Santa Barbara Police Department doesn't plan on handing out tickets.
However, they will be educating everyone on curfew compliance.