Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced announced this Thursday that she will extend until June 15 the current curfew (from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.) that seeks to minimize infections with SARS-CoV-2, which produces COVID-19 , and that it will lift a large part of the forced closings in the commercial, recreational, and religious activity of the country.
The governor indicated that from May 26 the shopping centers will be able to begin the process of training and preparing staff for a reopening from June 8 on Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 in the afternoon.
This reopening must be organized so that in a shopping center with outdoor corridors people do not occupy more than 50% of the capacity established under the current building code. “Closed” shopping malls may not exceed one person for every 100 square feet of building. The governor indicated that some centers are establishing a system to organize the movement of people in the corridors so that they do not cross each other as little as possible. Cinemas, play areas and valet parking services are excluded from this reopening and will remain closed. Similarly, in clothing stores and tired people will not be able to try on items.
Restaurants may also receive customers in their dining rooms, but they are limited to a 25% occupancy rate. In other words, they will be able to attend to only a quarter of the capacity they had in March when the governor imposed forced closings to combat the spread of SARS-CoV-2.
Ramón Leal, former president of the Restaurants Association (Asore by its Spanish acronym), asserted that 23 percent of the 4,000 restaurants in Puerto Rico will opt to remain closed despite government permission to reopen.
The activities associated with the sale and purchase of real estate may continue, but with limitations regarding the type of house that can be shown to potential clients. For example, real estate brokers can only show, in person, those houses that are unoccupied. Houses with inhabitants can be displayed, but only virtually.
The governor indicated that the use of beaches, nature reserves and golf courses will be allowed “strictly for exercise” and recreation. For example, runners, walkers, cyclists, surfers, golfers, sailing, paddle and rowing athletes will be allowed. Passes, socializing activities, or grouping of people on the beaches may not be carried out. Neither bathers will be able to use the beaches for tanning. Boat operators will not be able to unite their boats with others, anchor on beaches or disembark in areas other than marine.
Authorization is allowed for outdoor physical activities, walking, jogging, cycling, walking with children or pets. Gyms and athletic tracks will remain closed.
Bars, casinos and most hospitality lodgings still remain closed.
People are still required to wear face masks.