Citywide curfew goes into effect tonight

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - In an effort to limit unnecessary activity due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Percy Bland announced an executive order to limit citywide activity from 9pm to 6am every day for at least the next 14 days.

"We have a lot of current activity going on in this city and what we're trying to do is limit the traffic after 9pm,” said Bland.

Bland said the curfew was put in place to cut down on unnecessary gatherings throughout the city and curfew violators could be fined. The curfew doesn't apply to residents who have to travel to and from work or those with emergencies.

"Those individuals that are driving around for job specific duties or going to and from their job or doing their job, they're going to be fine,” said Bland. “The other people that are going out to a gas station or going to a food related place, they're fine."

Several businesses in Meridian are temporarily closed. Bland told Newscenter 11 the curfew could also help prevent crime near or at those unoccupied places.

"It gives us an opportunity from a department standpoint to manage and to look after those businesses as best we can,” said Bland.

The curfew is effective tonight.

The city is also working on a plan that would modify its way of conducting business in response to the coronavirus. City leaders will release more details on that plan Tuesday.