LAS VEGAS, NM (KRQE) – The small town of Las Vegas, New Mexico is extending its nighttime curfew until at least April 1. This marks nearly a year where residents are not allowed to go outside from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. as a COVID safety measure.
KRQE News 13 spoke to businesses in the city who have mixed feelings about the extended curfew. They’ve said they’ve come at 10 p.m. the last few months, their town is a ghost town.
The city said it was extending the overnight stay order earlier this week. It is an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus and ensure that there are no large gatherings overnight. The city has implemented the curfew since last April.
Restaurants in the city told KRQE that the pandemic had significantly affected their businesses, with a few businesses shutting down permanently. They said the curfew didn’t help either, given that a handful of them were usually open after 10 p.m.
âI object to it a bit because I have a bar and grill and most of my businesses are going to dance, dances that would last after 10pm,â said Wanda Martinez, owner of Tequilas Bar & Grill. âIt kind of put my business on a downward spiral. ”
However, Karen Pettine, owner of Hillcrest Restaurant and Trading Post Saloon, said she was in favor of the curfew and making public health a priority. “In order to stop the spread we have to rely on science and we have to support what needs to happen to stop the spread of this pandemic,” Pettine said.
Pettine believes the curfew is also in place to reduce crime. She says that at the start of the pandemic, businesses were vandalized and burgled at night. This curfew does not apply to first responders, delivery drivers and other essential workers.
San Miguel County has a 5.6% positivity rate. This is close to the 5% mark required to enter the yellow zone, which would allow 25% capacity for indoor dining and 75% outdoor capacity.