Puerto Rico’s governor on Thursday announced stricter measures to fight COVID-19, including a lockdown on Sundays and the closure of all marinas as the U.S. territory grapples with an increase in cases and deaths.
Gov. Wanda Vázquez also tightened an ongoing curfew, with businesses now ordered closed at 8:30 p.m. Sunday thru Saturday and no one allowed on streets from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. except for essential workers and those delivering food until 11 p.m. Violators are subject to arrest and/or fines.
Only gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores and hardware stores will be allowed to open on Sundays. Restaurants can offer delivery or carry-out. In addition, alcohol sales will be banned from Saturdays at 5 a.m. until Mondays at 5 a.m.
The new measures runs from Dec. 7 to Jan. 7, the height of the island’s holiday and tourism season. Beaches also will remain closed except to those doing exercise.
“We have to pause to save the lives of our old people mainly,” Vázquez said after she read the names and ages of those reported dead on Thursday.
The governor warned that if the number of cases and deaths keep increasing, she would implement a total lockdown, but she did not approve other recommendations from independent health experts, including opening beaches under certain requirements and closing commercial businesses and allowing them only to sell online.