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Puerto Rico curfew extended until July 22, as some businesses allowed to reopen

Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez issued Executive Order 2020-048, which extends the 10 p.m.   to 5 a.m. curfew until July 22, as certain government agencies and businesses are allowed to reopen.

The governor reiterated the mandatory use of face masks at all times while out in public, maintaining a minimum distance of six feet between people when visiting an establishment, store, restaurant, movie theater or office, and avoid unnecessary crowds.

The order establishes that career government employees must return to work in stages starting July 1. Furthermore, government agencies that offer services to citizens may start receiving public starting July 6. Each agency must notify citizens of the conditions under which they will be offering services.

Universities will be allowed to develop a COVID-19 protocol in compliance with the Centers for Disease Control, the Health Department and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (PR-OSHA).

Public and private schools, whose classes are scheduled to start in mid-August, should prepare their plans to reopen according to health and safety parameters to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus during the next school semester.

Each educational institution, including the Education Department, must timely present their plans for returning to classes and the modality in which their courses will be offered, the governor said.

The new Executive Order allows the sale of electronic and traditional lottery, as well as allows the collective transportation service, namely by the Metropolitan Authority of Buses and the Urban Train, starting July 1st.

Casinos may reopen, as long as they do not exceed the maximum occupancy of up to 75% of the capacity established in the current Puerto Rico Building Code 2018. They must comply with the protocols and guidelines established by the Gaming Division, which are in accordance with the recommendations from the CDC, the Health Department and PR-OSHA.

Meanwhile, occupancy rates at businesses and restaurants was increased to up to 75% capacity. Each business is responsible for complying with the safety and health measures required in the reopening protocols, including using personal protective equipment, screening and social distancing.

In the area of entertainment, the order allows the the opening of venues for in-person events and concerts, but the security protocols of physical distancing, mandatory face masks and frequent hand washing is mandatory.

“The producers will be responsible for following the risk control plans established by the venues so that each event is carried out in compliance with it,” the governor said. “Those who are used to carrying out sporting events must also comply with the specific rules and guidelines for each of the permitted activities, and with the protection protocol established by the Department of Sports and Recreation.”

The new order is in place for three weeks, during which Vázquez said the government’s medical task force will be monitoring it.

“When it is evident that the opening of any sector has caused a notable increase in the risk of infection or when the health services are approaching a capacity limit, it will be necessary to stop or delay the reopening plan and the order will be amended for those purposes,” she said. “Likewise, if the that doesn’t happen, the opening of other sectors may continue.”

Vázquez said the government will watch out for a spike in COVID-19 cases in the U.S. mainland and other countries and will offer details of the measures to be taken at the airports at a later date.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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