Virgin Islands residents will likely be subject to yet another curfew, this one lasting until mid-December.
On Thursday Governor Gus Jaspert plans to extend the restriction for what will probably be another two weeks, according to Maria Mays, the Governor’s Office policy officer.
This will be Mr. Jaspert’s fifth curfew order since the state of emergency was lifted in the first week of October. Each has lasted for a 14-day period.
Ms. Mays said yesterday that she suspected the governor would restrict the same hours — 11 p.m. to 6. a.m. — as he has in previous orders.
The United States Virgin Islands lifted its curfew at the end of October after instituting a similar restriction following the passage of Hurricane Irma.
Mr. Jaspert is authorised to order curfews outside of a state of emergency due to a bill passed by the House of Assembly last month.
That legislation lays out penalties for people who defy the curfew hours, including a $1,000 fine and up to three months in prison.
But it also offers “defence to prosecution” for anyone who is travelling directly from work to home; who is involved in an employment activity; or who is involved in an emergency.
It’s not clear, however, if “defence to prosecution” guarantees protection from arrest, and police have not clarified whether they plan to arrest anyone driving directly home from work after 11 p.m.
The law allows the governor — after consulting with the National Security Council — to call curfews as long as two weeks in duration.