Curfew hours are lifted in new COVID-19 EO


Decree opens door for concerts and venues


By Pedro Correa Henry

Twitter: @pete_r_correa

Special to The Star


Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia announced on Thursday that the new executive order (EO) to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic will lift curfew hours that have been in place since the public health emergency began on March 15, 2020.


At the José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum in Hato Rey, Pierluisi said the new decree, which goes into effect on Monday and continues through Sunday, June 5, responds to a decrease in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and registered fatalities in recent weeks.


“[The curfew hours] are no longer justified,” the governor said, adding that the coronavirus positivity rate is currently at 3.5%.


“It is time to start getting back on a decent path to normalcy,” Pierluisi said.


In addition to the lifting of the curfew, the EO will allow coliseums and event venues to reopen; however, both types of facilities must operate with a 30% occupancy cap and attendees are required to bring a negative molecular or antigen test prior to the event, “unless the attendee is fully vaccinated.”


“To all those who are eligible to be vaccinated, do it as soon as possible,” the governor said. “But we cannot let our guard down, because we cannot have another uptick and more lives lost [to the disease caused by the coronavirus].”


In the case of restaurants and other commercial enterprises -- not including standalone bars, which will remain closed under the new order -- Pierluisi announced that the new decree will allow them to operate at 50% of capacity, from 9 a.m. until 12 a.m.


Meanwhile, the governor said private operators that do not serve the general public may operate without schedule restrictions.


Summer camps, meanwhile, will be subject to the protocols developed and published by the Department of Recreation and Sports in coordination with the Department of Health.


Also, swimming pools’ maximum capacity was increased to 50%, while the prohibition of anchoring off beaches, cays and islets was decreased to 100 feet from shore.


Moreover, social activities will be authorized at up to 50% occupation capacity, and the obligatory use of face masks at beaches, parks or while exercising is lifted if the person is fully inoculated.


Likewise, the valet parking prohibition is also lifted and the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. will no longer be limited to the promotion of international tourism.