As of this Monday, new restrictions on social and commercial activities will apply in Puerto Rico with respect to the covid-19 pandemic. The governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi, announced on Thursday a new decree with these changes.
In this order, steps are established so that public and private schools can be reopened and gradually allow visits to long-term care centers for the elderly and prisons. The decree will be in force until March 14, 2021.
The government modified certain measures such as the curfew, which will be daily from 12:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Previously, the curfew began at 11:00 p.m. Commercial establishments may open until 11:00 p.m. and occupancy increases to 50% capacity, except for restaurants, which will remain at 30% occupancy. In both cases, the requirement of 1.8 meters (six feet) of spacing is maintained.
Schools, prisons and sports activities in Puerto Rico
The government recognizes in the decree the possibility of opening schools, consistent with the recommendations of the American Pediatric Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases of United States, Anthony Fauci, and the public policy of President Joe Biden. He adds that the return to classes will be regulated by the Departments of Education (DE) and Health (DS).
The decree orders the DS, in conjunction with the Department of the Family, to establish a protocol with the purpose of allowing visits to the elderly care centers in a limited and controlled manner, and avoiding contagion risks. It orders the same to the DS and the Correction regarding visits to prisons.
Regarding sporting events, sports and recreation activities will be allowed, as long as they comply with the established regulations. Therefore, the Department of Recreation and Sports is directed to publish a circular letter regarding these regulations.
Schools in the private education system, as well as all commercial establishments, are encouraged to register on the portal of the municipal research and contact tracing system.
Pierluisi indicated that the decree may have changes before the expiration of its validity.
“If we have to restrict more or make more flexible, I will do so. We will continue to observe the statistics, especially hospitalizations and new infections, which provide a picture of the status of our hospital system and its response,” he said.
According to the Puerto Rico DS, as of February 4, there were 88,352 confirmed cases of covid-19, 71,063 suspected cases, 7,003 probable cases, and 1,872 deaths.
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