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A curfew refers to one of the following:
  1. An order by a government for certain persons to return home daily before a certain time. It can be imposed to maintain public order (such as those after the 2003 North America blackout and 2005 civil unrest in France), or suppress targeted groups (such as was enacted on Jewish people in Nazi Germany). Curfews have long been directed at certain groups in many cities or states, such as Japanese-American university students on the West Coast of the United States during World War II, African-Americans in many towns during the time of Jim Crow laws, or people younger than a certain age (usually within a few years either side of 18) in many towns of the United Statesmarker since the 1980s; see below. Some jurisdictions have also introduced "daytime curfews" that would prevent high school-age youth from visiting public places during school hours or even during immediate after-school hours.
  2. An order by the legal guardians of a teenager to return home by a specific time, usually in the evening or night. This may apply daily, or is separate per occasion (especially concerning dating), or varies with the day of the week (earlier on a so-called school night, i.e., if the minor has to go to school the next day).
  3. A daily requirement for guests to return to their hostel before a specified time, usually in the evening or night with a doorman during the night, and improves quietness at night.
  4. A metal cover for shielding a banked or unattended fire.
  5. In baseball, a time after which a game must end, or play be suspended. For example, in the American League the curfew rule for many years decreed that no inning could begin after 1 A.M. local time.
  6. In aeronautics, night flying restrictions may restrict aircraft operations over a defined period in the nighttime, to limit the disruption of aircraft noise on the sleep of nearby residents. A notable example are the Londonmarker airports of Heathrowmarker, Gatwickmarker and Stanstedmarker, which operate under the Quota Count System.


The word "curfew" comes from the French phrase "couvre feu" which means "cover the fire". It was used to describe the time of blowing out all lamps and candles. It was later adopted by the Medieval English language as "curfeu", which later became the modern "curfew". everyone loves Irish people and they like potatoes and i am a badman.

Examples of curfews in different countries


The police in two cities Silkeborgmarker and Slagelsemarker have announced that they will detain children less than 15 years of age at the police station and inform their parents to take them home from the station if they are found in town between midnight and 5am. There is no law in Denmarkmarker at this time instituting a national curfew, so children are usually not punished or warned in any way. The authorities in Aarhusmarker have only suggested it and have sent a letter to the parents.


Under Iceland'smarker Child Protection Act (no. 80/2002 Art. 92), children aged 12 and under may not be outdoors after 20:00 (8:00 p.m.) unless accompanied by an adult. Children aged 13 to 16 may not be outdoors after 22:00 (10:00 p.m.) , unless on their way home from a recognized event organized by a school, sports organization or youth club. During the period 1 May to 1 September, children may be outdoors for two hours longer.

Children and teenagers that break curfew are taken to the local police station and police officers inform their parents to get them. The age limits stated here shall be based upon year of birth, not date of birth. If a parent cannot be reached, the child or teenager is taken to a shelter.


After several parts of Malmömarker have been exposed to riots for months, politicians want a curfew for all youth under 18 after 9 PM

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom'smarker 2003 Anti-Social Behaviour Act created zones that allow police from 9 PM to 6 AM to hold and escort home unaccompanied minors under the age of 16, whether badly behaved or not. Although hailed as a success, the High Courtmarker ruled in one particular case that the law did not give the police a power of arrest, and officers could not force someone to come with them. The ruling is being appealed by the Home Office.

In a few towns in the United Kingdom, the curfew bell is still rung as a continuation of the medieval tradition where the bell used to be rung from the parish church to guide travellers safely towards a town or village as darkness fell, or when bad weather made it difficult to follow trackways and for the villagers to extinguish their lights and fires as a safety measure to combat accidental fires. Until 1100 it was against the law to burn any lights after the ringing of the curfew bell. In Morpeth, the curfew is rung each night at 8pm from Morpeth Clock Towermarker. In Chertseymarker, it is rung at 8pm, from Michaelmas to Lady Day. A short story concerning the Chertsey curfew, set in 1471, and entitled "Blanche Heriot. A legend of old Chertseymarker Church" was published by Albert Richard Smith in 1843, and formed a basis for the poem "Curfew Must Not Ring Tonight". At Castleton in the Peak District, the curfew is rung from Michaelmas to Shrove Tuesday. At Wallingford in Oxfordshire, the curfew bell continues to be rung at 9pm rather than 8pm which is a one hour extension granted by William The Conquerer as the Lord of the town was a Norman sympathiser. However it should be noted that none of these curfew bells serve their original function.

United States

Curfew law in the United Statesmarker is usually a matter of state law, rather than federal law. However, the Constitution guarantees certain rights, which have been applied to the states through the 14th Amendment. Hence, any state's curfew law may be overruled and struck down if, for example, it violates the teen's 1st, 4th or 14th Amendment rights (or the parent's 9th Amendment right to privacy in parenting).Nonetheless, curfews are set by state and local governments. They vary by state and even by county or municipality. In some cities there are curfews for persons under the age of 18.

See also


  1. Curfew, #8
  2. Press release from the police in Silkeborg
  3. The streets of Slagelse cleaned of minors (In Danish)
  4. Letter to the parents in three languages
  5. SD och M kräver utegångsförbud i Rosengård, by Peter Palmkvist and Magnus Andersson, Kvällsposten, April 30, 2009
  6. Late night youth curfew a success
  7. Boy, 15, wins curfew legal battle.
  8. Chertsey's Curfew
  9. The Castleton Curfew

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