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Salt Lake City will allow police to enforce Governor Herbert's 'Stay Safe, Stay Home' directive

Posted at 10:40 PM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 00:43:02-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall is enhancing Utah Governor Gary Herbert's "Stay Safe, Stay Home" directive so that local police can enforce it.

Friday's directive urges Utahns to stay home as much as possible, by working from home and refraining from visiting with friends or extended family in person. Under the directive, Gov. Herbert said it's still okay to exercise outside and go grocery shopping.

After his announcement Friday afternoon, Mayor Mendenhall issued her fifth emergency proclamation to implement the directive, and take it a step further.

"It takes the Governor's directive of "Stay Safe, Stay Home," and gives it the force of law here in Salt Lake City," Mendenhall explained, via a FaceTime interview Friday evening. "So we're asking people and telling people: Stay home, except for non-essential travel."

That travel, she indicated, includes the outside walks and exercise, and grocery shopping as mentioned by Governor Herbert.

Mendenhall also announced the tightening of restrictions at Salt Lake International Airport. Only passengers with tickets are allowed inside the airport. Pickup and drop off must now be done curbside, or inside the parking garage.

She said the stay-at-home model makes more sense than a shelter-in-place narrative.

Though, it appears "force of the law" doesn't necessarily mean in trouble with the law. Mendenhall said they are asking people to voluntarily comply.

"Salt Lake City will make every effort to educate and gently remind people of why we're doing this, and what these rules are," Mendenhall said. "We gave no intention of issuing tickets or citations-- even though that is possible under this type of a proclamation."

Mendenhall said this is about protecting lives of neighbors, co-workers and family members. She said the sooner they take action, the shorter the duration of health and economic impact of COVID-19.

Salt Lake County also made some specific changes beyond Governor Herbert's directive. Click here to read more.