• The Star Staff

Long lines for seniors are in the past


By John McPhaul

jpmcphaul@gmail.com


Senate Joint Resolution 515 (RC of S. 515), filed by Sen. Miguel Romero Lugo, is now law, creating express service lines for seniors, pregnant women, state and municipal police and/or medical or health services personnel who work in hospitals, health service facilities or technological laboratories, including nurses, paramedics, medical technologists and doctors of medicine.


The resolution temporarily extends the provisions of Law 297-2018, as amended, known as the Uniform Law on Express Service Lines and Assignment of Priority Shifts, and applies to supermarkets, pharmacies, and banking and financial institutions.


“Over the past few months, we have been through one of the most momentous emergencies in our modern history,” said Romero, a candidate for mayor of San Juan. “With attention to the danger that continues to be represented by the global pandemic that affects us, I introduced the RC of S. 515, which has already been converted into law, and which seeks to protect and ensure the safety specifically of one of the most vulnerable populations, our older adults, in addition to first responders.”


The law addresses the problems that have arisen with the substantial increase in traffic at supermarkets, pharmacies, and banking or financial institutions.


“Our most vulnerable populations and those security and medical personnel who are serving as the first line of defense during this emergency have had to face the reality of long waits in these establishments, which can place them in a greater state of exposure, endangering their health,” Romero added.


Through the Uniform Law on Express Service Lines and Assignment of Priority Shifts, a public policy was established that is conducive to the establishment of express service lines and assignment of priority shifts in all agencies and public corporations of the Puerto Rico government. as well as municipalities, the legislative branch and private entities that receive public funds and offer direct services to citizens.


Likewise, the law defines that the “Express Line and Priority Shifts” is for people with disabilities, people 60 years of age or older, veterans, people who have traveled between, and must return to, the islands of Puerto Rico, Vieques or Culebra by sea or by air in the same day, pregnant women, state and municipal police and/or medical or health services personnel who work in hospitals, health service facilities or technological laboratories, including nurses, paramedics, medical technologists and doctors of medicine, duly identified.


“It is in our best interest to establish all the prudent measures that ensure the protection of the most vulnerable sectors and, furthermore, give priority to those people who are risking their own lives for the benefit of all Puerto Ricans,” Romero said. “It is important that we continue to call for the protection of each and every citizen in the face of the reality that we still live in.”

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