New Executive Order Relaxing COVID-19 Restrictions
By: Alicia Lamboy, Esq.
May 24, 2021
On May 20, 2021, the Hon. Pedro R. Pierluisi, Governor of Puerto Rico, issued Executive Order 2021-036 (the “Order”). This Order further eases the restrictions established in Executive Order 2021-032 to control the COVID-19 pandemic. The most significant changes include:
- Eliminates the curfew, however, the Order limits the operation of private services and businesses to the period from 5:00 am to midnight. Businesses that are exempt from this limitation includes hospitals, pharmacies, pharmaceutical facilities, and others.
- Increases the maximum occupancy capacity of private services and businesses that are not expressly prohibited to fifty percent (50%) if the establishment has a closed environment. If the business receives customers in its establishments, the storage area cannot be considered in the calculation of the maximum occupancy capacity. The occupancy restriction will not apply to supermarkets, but these must continue implementing social distancing and other COVID-19 control measures.
- Increases the authorization to operate theaters, amphitheaters, and activity centers at thirty percent (50%) occupancy limited to the period between 5:00 am and 12:00 am.
- Allows the operation of coliseums at thirty percent (30%) occupancy, but people attending must evidence that have been completely inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or bring a qualified negative COVID-19 (NAAT or antigen) test done within 72 hours prior to the event.
- Amends the requirements to hold events, such as, corporate activities, assemblies, and weddings, without a waiver to add the alternative to require participants evidence that are either completely inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine approved by FDA or, as established in the previous order, present a qualified negative COVID-19 (NAAT or antigen) test done within 72 hours prior to the event.
The new Order became effective on May 24, 2021.