Ohio CurfewBy Jennifer Hart

Nearly three months after it was enacted, Ohio’s COVID-19 curfew has been lifted. During his afternoon press conference Thursday, Gov. Mike DeWine announced that because the state has reached a pre-determined benchmark on COVID-related hospitalizations, the curfew would no longer be in effect.

With the curfew lifted, bars and restaurants can serve patrons until pre-pandemic closing times, as the governor’s “Last Call Order,” which prohibited serving alcohol after 10 p.m. and required closure by 11 p.m., expired in November.

The curfew prohibited people from being outside their homes at night unless they met certain exceptions, including going to or from work, grocery shopping, receiving medical care or other necessary trips.

The Ohio curfew had previously been shortened from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. down to the hours of 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Jan. 27, 2021 in recognition of falling cases and hospitalizations. At the time he shortened the curfew, Gov. DeWine stated that if the state reached the milestone of fewer than 2,500 COVID-related hospitalizations for at least seven days, the curfew could be lifted. Ohio reached that milestone on Feb. 9, 2021.

DeWine noted that the curfew could be reinstated if cases or hospitalizations rise again. Ohio’s seven-day average of new cases has been falling since Jan. 11, 2021, and hospitalizations have fallen from a peak of 5,308 on Dec. 15, 2020 to 1,862 on Feb. 11, 2021.

KJK will continue to monitor the federal and state response to COVID-19. If you have any questions about Ohio’s curfew or regulations relating to COVID-19, you can contact one of KJK’s attorneys. If you have a question relating to employment or return to work, contact Alan Rauss at 216.736.7221 or amr@kjk.com or Rob Gilmore at 216.736.7240 or rsg@kjk.com. Questions relating to the impact of COVID on bars and restaurants should be directed to Jim Sammon at 216.736.7235 or jpsammon@kjk.com.