Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order Monday requiring Arizona residents to “limit their time from home except to conduct or participate in essential activities, for employment, to utilize any services or products provided by essential businesses.”
Ducey said he decided to make the order after speaking with Dr. Cara Christ, Director Arizona Department of Health Services, on Monday morning.
“Our goal here is to protect the lives of those we love most and to ensure the health care system has the capacity to provide them with the care and comfort they deserve,” Ducey said.
Arizona mayors, including Tucson's Regina Romero, were immediately critical of the order because it does not change what is classified as an essential business.
“I think it is a great step in the right direction, I am happy the governor made the decision to have a uniform policy throughout the state. … I am concerned about the exhaustive list of essential functions,” Romero told AZPM.
Those businesses, which were outlined in an earlier executive order, include grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, golf courses and hair and nail salons.
The newest order from Ducey does require businesses to keep people 6 feet apart. But Mayor Romero is still concerned. She said people need clarity, not directives that make them determine what is right and wrong.
“The clearer we can be, the more direction the governor gives, the better,” Romero said. She pointed to her proclamation declaring an emergency that closed bars and dine-in restaurants in the city only to find large groups of people gathering in parks.
The governor said he wants people to stay safe.
“We want people to stay at home. It will have the same type of effect but we also realize that people are going to need an outlet and there is a way to do it in a safe way and the order has the mechanisms,” Ducey said.
Violating the stay-at-home order is a class 1 misdemeanor according to Arizona law. The order, however, also says people do not have to prove where they are going or why they have left home.