DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced a new public health order that he called “Home by 10” due to the spike in coronavirus cases. Starting this Sunday, certain businesses that serve alcohol will be required to close at 10 p.m. The order will be in effect for 30 days.

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The new order will restrict nighttime business hours, particularly for bars, clubs and restaurants. It also urges residents to be in their own homes by 10 p.m., and avoid gathering or mixing with other households.

Hancock acknowledged that some might call it a curfew, but said “that’s not how we are characterizing it.”

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Hancock explained that the city is restricting hours where alcohol can be consumed because people are likely to be less careful about wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

“People become less careful, less inhibited the more they drink.”

The Home by 10 order does include exemptions for critical businesses, people traveling to and from work, and more.

Violators could face a $999 fine and 300 days in jail, but officials said they expect a high level of compliance and hope to do a minimal level of enforcement.

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Hancock said the goal is to avoid another Stay at Home order.

“There is another Stay at Home order in our future unless we act with urgency and care for one another to change the behavior that is leading to these increasing cases,” Hancock said.

Anica Padilla