Governor eases restrictions

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GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres announced that effective today, the Commonwealth will move from Community Vulnerability Level “Red” to “Yellow,” as a result of widespread community-based Covid-19 testing.

In accordance with the CNMI Economic Recovery Plan introduced by the governor’s economic task force on May 13, this change in Community Vulnerability Level reduces the restrictions imposed by the governor’s Second Amended Executive Order 2020-04.

However, strict social distancing practices are still strongly encouraged, including wearing face masks and remaining six feet apart.

This change in Community Vulnerability allows businesses to be open to the public from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 50% of their maximum capacity level.

Businesses are required to keep “one-way” flow signs for entrances and exits posted, maintain crowd control, provide a hand sanitizer station upon entry and exit, provide protective barriers (for example, face shields or Plexiglas) between employees and customers, ensure that there are visible lineup markers six feet apart leading to the cashier counter, and regularly clean and sanitize all surfaces (including entrance door handles, handles of shopping baskets and carts, and handles for coolers and freezers).

Restaurant customers can dine in on-site at 25% of maximum capacity of the establishment. However, all other food or beverages businesses, including bars, will remain closed.

In addition, restaurants are encouraged to use outdoor dining space, if possible, keeping in line with social distancing guidelines provided by the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. and the governor’s task force.

Penalties for violating business-hour mandates include one-month closure of the business establishment for first-time offenders, six-month closure for second-time offenders, and one-year closure for three or more offenses.

Penalties for violating business social distancing mandates include immediate closure of the business establishment for up to 30 days.

Curfew hours have also been amended to the hours of 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., with the exception of first responders who are on-duty, lawfully employed persons returning from or going to work, and persons returning from or going to the hospital for treatment.

Penalties for violating curfew mandates include a $200 fine for first-time offenders, a $500 fine for second-time offenders, a $750 fine and vehicle impoundment for three or more offenses.

Each passenger found in violation of curfew mandates will be fined $100 for their first offense, $200 for the second, and $300 for three or more offenses.

Further, church and worship services are now permitted to resume in-person services, but at 25% of their respective maximum capacity.

Gyms and non-contact recreational activities are also permitted to resume. All public beaches and pathways remain open for public use from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily for physical and mental exercise and wellness.

While the Grotto remains closed, Managaha is now open to the public. Transport vehicles to and from the island are subject to constant disinfection.


Subsistence and commercial fishing, including talaya, rod and reel, is only allowed from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

Apart from bars, other business establishments that remain closed to the public are recreational or amusement businesses, including the casino, video poker establishments, and e-gaming facilities.

Hotels, tour operators, and tourism industry stakeholders, under the guidance of public health officials and federal officials, are allowed to begin preparations for thermal monitoring and establishing internal standard operating procedures for mitigating risks in anticipation of tourist arrivals.

The governor’s task force and CHCC continue to promote testing among community organizations, businesses, and households.



November 2020 pssnewsletter

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