• The Star Staff

SJ mayor: Curfew violation, failure to mask up will bring fines

By John McPhaul


San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto said Tuesday that the municipal police will be more strict when implementing fines for those who violate the curfew and fail to wear a face mask in public.

“If they catch him or her on the street at 10 p.m. there will be a fine. There will be no orientation,” Cruz Soto said at a press conference. “If they catch him or her without masks, they will also be fined.”

The mayor is not the only one tired of the situation. Old San Juan business owners have also raised a flag.

One of the problems faced by the owners and administrators of businesses focused on the tourism sector are tourists who ignore requests to wear masks and thus prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.

“Tourism in Old San Juan is basically about cruise ships. There are no cruise ships, because they have not yet given permission to resume the trips,” said Old San Juan designer and businesswoman Diana Font in a radio interview Tuesday. “The tourism we are receiving is minimal tourism, quite different I would say, with less purchasing power than that from the ships.”

The mayor meanwhile called on the merchants of Old San Juan and the rest of the municipality to close their establishments before 10 p.m. so their employees can be in their homes by that time, when the curfew begins.

“We urge you to close earlier so that employees are at home before 10 o’clock at night,” Cruz Soto said. “If not, they will be fined.”

“We have been [providing] guidance for eight months,” she added. “Orientations are over.”

The mayor also called on tourists to respect curfew orders and the use of masks. She said law enforcement officers will begin to issue fines against those who thus violate the provisions of the executive order.

The fines for violation of curfew and mask disuse are around $ 100 each.

Font said that the tourists who patronize San Juan businesses are very undisciplined when it comes to wearing masks.

“It is a tourism for which, I would say, the tickets are so cheap, in fact we have never had before. It is a tourism (crowd) that is quite undisciplined. I imagine it’s from people who still think this is a falsehood, the pandemic. Many of them do not wear a mask. And then it is very difficult to tell them ‘Look, you have to put the mask on’, because they don’t pay attention.”

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