On May 1st, Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vázquez-Garced issued Executive Order No. 2020-038 detailing the ongoing restrictions on individuals and businesses in Puerto Rico.
The general curfew has been extended till May 25th. People may leave their homes between 5:00 a.m.and 7:00 p.m. only for the following reasons:
- To attend medical appointments
- To buy food, medications, and other essential items
- To visit exempt businesses for necessary errands
- To provide or receive necessary services
Specific days have been named when people may go to their workplaces to process payroll (May 4th and 13th) or to collect materials needed for remote work (May 5th, between 5:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.).
A list of exemptions from the curfew includes workers in these industries:
- Law enforcement, both public and private
- Health professionals, including veterinarians
- The entire supply chain for food and consumer goods, from agriculture through manufacturing and retail work
- Restaurants for carry-out or delivery
- Utilities and infrastructure
- Call centers
- Ports and airports
- Press and media
- The entire supply chain for medical goods including disinfectants and PPE
- The entire supply chain for fuel
- Financial services, including pawn shops and electronic payment services
- Servies for vulnerable populations, including homeless shelters and food banks
- Mechanics, vehicle inspection centers, and auto parts retailers
- Textiles for personal protective equipment
- Textiles for military use
- Ornamental gardening
- Shipping and package delivery
- Plumbers and other household repairs for emergency situations only
- Roadside assistance
- Funeral homes (no gatherings allowed)
- Waste ,anagement
- Moving services
- Online sales, exports, logistics, and transportation of goods
- Air conditioner repair
- Taxi and public chauffeur services for merchandise delivery
- Notary, legal, and accounting services
- Federal services
Individuals taking food to vulnerable individuals or otherwise caring for the elderly and infirm also are exempt from the curfew.
Rules for visiting businesses
Individuals visiting businesses as specified must wear a mask and maintain a distance of 6 feet from other people. Only one person from each household may go into any place of business.
Businesses must make sure that workers wash their hands, disinfect their workstations, and enforce the 6 foot physical distancing rule. Shops must also have hand sanitizer available for customers. Supermarkets and pharmacies must offer special times for elderly customers, and “should make every possible effort” to prioritize the needs of health care and law enforcement workers. This includes serving only these individuals between 7:00 and 8:00 p.m.
Food stores of all kinds must close on Sundays, but they may use that time for restocking and cleaning. Many services may operate only by appointment, serving one customer at a time. Hardware stores, for example, may not open their facilities to the general public, but may serve customers individually by appointment.
The construction industry may get back to work on May 11th, assuming they follow OSHA and CDC guidelines. Each company must prepare a protocol and train workers on the new requirements.
Materials for construction may also be prepared and delivered.
Anyone breaking these regulations may face fines and imprisonment.