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Puerto Rico governor extends lockdown to May 3, tweaks conditions

Responding to suggestions from the Medical Task Force she appointed, Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez announced over the weekend the signing of a new Executive Order establishing an extension to the lockdown and 24/7 curfew through May 3.

Executive Order 2020-33 eliminates license plates restrictions and extends the period during the day during which authorized personnel is allowed to be on the road.

As of today, the mandatory curfew is in effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. — adding two hours to the allowed window. However, Puerto Rico residents are urged to stay home unless they must seek specific services.

“The population is asked to stay in their homes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and to make use of the time they can be out only under special or urgent circumstances, such as medical appointments, to buy food or pharmaceutical products, or to go, get or provide any of the services exempted in the executive order,” Vázquez said.

For the duration of the new Executive Order, a homeowner or resident that allows third parties to get together for meetings, gatherings, parties or any disavowed activity, will be violating the order, she said.

Regarding businesses, the Executive Order upholds that those offering services such as selling prepared food through the drive-through, pick-up or delivery methods, businesses related to the food distribution chains, grocery stores and fresh food stands, will be exempt from the lockdown.

Grocery stores that offer delivery services will be allowed to so until 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday. However, on Sundays, supermarkets will be closed to the public, but are exempt to clean, disinfect and manage inventory.

Other business segments that remain exempt in the new order are gas stations, financial institutions, basic care services for vulnerable populations, and textile manufacturers for components and/or equipment for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Auto repair and parts shops as well as hardware stores may continue to open as established in the previous Executive Order. They may offer service Wednesday and Thursday (9 a.m.- 5 p.m.) by appointment only.

Hardware stores may offer service on Friday and Saturday (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) by appointment only, without opening to the general public.

“The exception to the lockdown remains for plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other services that are necessary to ensure health, safety, and essential operation. Also, delivery companies, installation, repair, maintenance and rehabilitation jobs at the individual, residential, commercial, industrial or public level, are allowed as long as they provide a telephone number or email to be contacted.”

Violations to the terms of the Executive Order may be punishable with a $5,000 fine or six months in jail.

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

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