Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez announced tighter conditions on the lockdown and curfew in place during Holy Week that starts today.
The measures include ordering the closure of most businesses on the island on Good Friday, Saturday and Easter Sunday. Only drugstores will be open for prescription pick-up and gas stations may remain open to sell fuel only.
Supermarkets, banks and other exceptions that will be open through Thursday will be closed over the weekend.
Under normal circumstances, Puerto Rico businesses are legally obligated to close on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
During a news conference late Sunday, government officials predicted that COVID-19 pandemic will peak between April 15 and May 8 on the island.
“The measures we’ve taken so far have been accurate and necessary, but we have to continue working to lower the curve of the number of infections,” said Vázquez-Garced, adding she will decide later this week whether to extend the current lockdown in place through April 12.
“After the weekend and we see both how people behave and the results curve and statistics, we will evaluate them and then decide on how we’ll move forward, given that the Executive Order expires on Sunday,” Vázquez said.
She also called for more cooperation from the private sector to crack down on the long lines that have been seen outside supermarkets over the past few weeks, requiring them to ban people not wearing masks from entering the store. People must keep the six-foot separation, she said, also saying one member per family should go grocery shopping.
State Epidemiologist David Capó confirmed that as of Sunday, there were 492 COVID-19 cases in Puerto Rico. He predicted there will be 936 cases in a week and 1,300 a week after that. By May 4, the number should hover at about 1,748, he said.
“The worst is yet to come,” Health Secretary Lorenzo González said.