New, but old, restrictions in new executive order; full lockdown on Sunday
By Pedro Correa Henry
Special to The Star
Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced said Wednesday that the new Executive Order 2020-062 will go into effect on Aug. 22 and will extend for 21 days until Sept. 11, and that 24-hour lockdowns will be imposed on Sundays in order to tackle increased rates of positive COVID-19 cases in Puerto Rico.
Vázquez said curfew hours will remain from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., while on Sundays, only gas stations, pharmacies, supermarkets, and hardware stores will remain open. In-person restaurants will be able to operate via drive-thru or delivery.
Meanwhile, restaurants that have open-air spaces are to occupy at 25 percent capacity from Monday to Saturday via reservation; however, customers must maintain six to nine feet of distance.
The Star explains other measures issued in the new executive order:
* Public or private social or family activities are prohibited, while alcohol sale is forbidden after 7 p.m from Monday to Saturday and at all times on Sunday
* Alcoholic beverage consumption in parking spots, public spaces, and areas close to operating businesses, including gas stations, is prohibited; business managers expose themselves to license suspension if such activity takes place
* The use of face masks is compulsory. In addition, Puerto Rico Police Bureau agents will issue a fine of $100 to each person who does not comply with the order
* Businesses that sell alcoholic beverages will remain under the current sales prohibition during the next 21 days, while supermarkets must guarantee social distancing inside their enterprises and the sanitization of grocery carts
* Each employer is obligated to notify the island Health Department of any positive or suspicious COVID-19 case at email@example.com
* Banks and other financial institutions will only be authorized to offer deposit, withdrawal and payment services
* Laundries and nurseries will remain operating at 25 percent of their capacity
* The current instructions on renewals of vehicle inspection stickers are extended during the executive order
* Lines are forbidden at retail stores, and malls will be able to open from Monday to Saturday at up to 25 percent capacity
* Movie theaters, game rooms and valet parking services will not operate
* In closed malls, occupation will be limited to one person per 100 square feet
* Outdoor recreation and sports activities are authorized during the hours established by the curfew. Group exercise activities are prohibited
* Beaches are open only for sports activities. Coolers and beach chairs are prohibited
* Auto concessionaires remain open from Monday to Saturday
* Childcare centers can operate while complying with established guidelines
* Churches and funeral homes cannot exceed 25 percent capacity
* Public transportation remains suspended
* In-person classes in both public and private schools will not begin until evidence proves a decrease in daily confirmed COVID-19 cases
* Equestrian sports are allowed to operate.
The governor also pointed out that any citizen who does not comply with the executive order and resists enforcement by police officers could face prosecution.