Governor Relaxes Covid-19 Executive Order
Curfew will begin at midnight; most businesses may operate at 50% capacity
SAN JUAN – Gov. Pedro Pierluisi presented Thursday a new executive order (OE) to address the Covid-19 pandemic that will be in force until March 14
In a media release, his office said the order makes “minimal changes” to the current one, which “was revised to simplify it.”
The order, which takes effect on Sunday, Feb. 8, maintains the restrictions of the previous order, but modifies certain areas such as the curfew, which will be from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m.
However, businesses must close for the day at 11 p.m. but they may now be utilized at 50 percent capacity, except for restaurants, which must maintain occupancy at no more than 30 percent. In both cases, the requirement of maintaining at least 6 feet of distance between people remains in effect.
“Although the order will be in effect until March 14, it recognizes the possibility of opening schools, consistent with the recommendations of the American Pediatric Association, the CDC [Centers for Disease Control], [White House chief medical advisor] epidemiologist Anthony Fauci and the public policy of President Joe Biden,” the release reads. “During its validity, it is established that the return to classes will be regulated by the Departments of Education (DE) and Health (DS).”
The Department of Health, in consultation with the Family Department, is ordered to establish a protocol to allow visits to elderly care centers “in a limited and controlled manner, and avoiding transmission risks,” the governor’s office said. The same is ordered of the departments of Health and Corrections regarding visits to prisons.
Sports and recreation activities will be allowed, “as long as they comply with the established regulations. Therefore, the Sports and Recreation Department (DRD) is directed to publish a Circular Letter on these regulations,” the release reads.
The governor’s office urges private schools and businesses to register in the Health Department’s (https://bioportal.salud.gov.pr/authentication/register) Bioportal of the Municipal System for Case Investigation and Contact Tracing (SMICRC by its Spanish initials).
“It has always been my north to seek balance, listening and attending to the health and economic sectors to be able to make decisions that safeguard the health of all, but also that do not affect our already battered economy any more. Our collective goal is to return to a new normal but, for now, we must all continue the preventive measures to protect ourselves from the virus. The mask, distancing and hand washing continues to be the lifestyle that we must continue to lead, even if having already received one or two doses of the vaccine,” the governor said.
Pierluisi added that changes may be made to the order before its validity period expires.
“If we have to restrict it more or make it more flexible, I will do so. We will continue to watch the statistics, especially hospitalizations and new infections, which provide a picture of the status of our hospital system and its response,” he said.