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What is our stance on questions on curfews requiring individuals to return to and stay in their houses or homes? On-topic or off-topic as not related to travel?

I would have guessed that such questions are on-topic since curfews restrict movements, and one needs to move to travel, but I see that At what time will the curfew in Bangkok be lifted on Monday June 15, 2020? was closed on the grounds that it is not about traveling (4 upvotes on the "I’m voting to close this question because it's not a travel question" comment), so I'm a bit confused regarding this website's scope.


A few other examples:

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I think questions on curfews as such are on topic.

Questions about the precise end moment of a curfew on a given date should (in my view) be considered off topic, as they will be useless the day after the end of the curfew.

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    Thanks. The question When do German borders reopen for EU members exactly? is asking when some restrictions end, and hasn't attracted a single close vote (8 upvotes and 1 downvote) so it seems most people are ok with such questions (there are other such questions posted on Travel SE). – Franck Dernoncourt Jun 13 at 14:13
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    I feel that question about Germany is considered to cover a many more people, or it is closer to the heart of the community, as we seem to have more users from Europe than from Asia, but as usual, what happens to one question has nothing to do with an other question. – Willeke Jun 13 at 14:16
  • I don't think we should be biased against some locations when closing questions. And I think we should apply closing policy decently uniformly across questions. – Franck Dernoncourt Jun 13 at 14:18
  • As I told you before, the community does most of the moderation. On TSE mods mostly follow what the community indicates they want done. (And when a mod does what he or she thinks best, it is often challenged by the community.) So it is not possible to force a closing policy uniformly across questions. SE is not set up for that nor would the community here want that. – Willeke Jun 13 at 14:47
  • Sure I didn't have the mods in mind in particular. I think the community as a whole should try to avoid discriminating based on a geographical area. – Franck Dernoncourt Jun 13 at 15:41
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I don’t agree with Willeke’s position that a question is off-topic if its relevance is time-limited, but I did vote to close this question, and did so by agreeing with the “not a travel question” comment. Here’s why I think it’s different from the Germany question, and not on-topic:

Obviously if you have to obey a curfew, that has an effect on your ability to travel within the curfew period. But it is a curfew, not a travel ban. The Germany question relates to rules which apply almost exclusively to people who are travelling. The curfew primarily affects people who are within and will be - even without the curfew would be - remaining within a confined local area.

The question I often ask myself when deciding if I think a question is on-topic (where it’s not something ridiculous) is whether the ideal person to ask would need to be (or at least be likely to be) an expert on a travel-related topic. In this case, I don’t think they would.

Just a note relating to the comments on the other answer: this isn’t about location. I’d vote to close a similar question about a curfew in Berlin just the same, and would not vote to close a question about Thai immigration restrictions.

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  • Thanks for your feedback. "The curfew primarily affects people who are within and will be - even without the curfew would be - remaining within a confined local area." Bangkok is a large metropolis with 15 million inhabitants. Also, it turns out the curfew is for the entire Thailand (70 million inhabitants). I edited the question accordingly. – Franck Dernoncourt Jun 13 at 18:47
  • "whether the ideal person to ask would need to be (or at least be likely to be) an expert on a travel-related topic. In this case, I don’t think they would." The curfew impacts many businesses, including travel businesses, so an expert in traveling in Thailand is likely to know the answer. – Franck Dernoncourt Jun 13 at 18:48
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    "it is a curfew, not a travel ban" -> a curfew typically prevents people under curfew from travelling. – Franck Dernoncourt Jun 14 at 23:44
  • I’m well aware of that. I think the answer is quite clear about the importance of the distinction between primary aims and secondary effects. For that matter, I was also already perfectly aware that Bangkok is a large city, thank you very much. – Chris H Jun 15 at 5:05
  • I believe the primary aim of a curfew is to prevent all forms of travel, whether the travel involves taking a flight or walking to the nearby market. (I specified the size of Bangkok because you used the term "confined", which could mean you consider the area to be small, so I wanted to clarify it.) – Franck Dernoncourt Jun 15 at 5:11
  • @FranckDernoncourt well I believe if the purpose were to prevent travel, it would apply for more than just 4 hours in the dead of night. 11pm-3am isn't exactly peak travel time, is it? – Chris H Jun 15 at 6:05
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    The government explained that the curfew is at night to prevent people from traveling to attend night activities such as social gatherings. So clearly the primary aim of the curfew is prevent people from traveling within Thailand. – Franck Dernoncourt Jun 15 at 6:09
  • @FranckDernoncourt then I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. To me it would seem that the primary purpose is to avoid parties and similar mass gatherings, and the effect on travel is incidental and minimised to what's necessary for that aim. – Chris H Jun 15 at 6:21
  • The effect in travel is not minimized at all because all forms of travels are banned (with a few exceptions for some corner cases), and that the law implementing the curfew is directly banning travel. The law targeting social gatherings is a different law that isn't part of the law implementing the curfew. – Franck Dernoncourt Jun 15 at 6:25
  • @FranckDernoncourt I've already made my point - if the purpose were to prevent travel (rather than gatherings), it wouldn't be restricted to times most people heavily disfavour for travel anyway. That's what I mean by the effect on travel being minimised to what's necessary for the aim. We're clearly going round in circles now, so I'm out of this conversation. You've got your explanation for why I consider this not a travel question (I'd want to ask an expert on law or politics, not an expert on travel). If you disagree there's nothing more I can say, sometimes people disagree. – Chris H Jun 15 at 6:52

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