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Emergency directives include penalties for violating social distancing rules

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GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres on Thursday issued Executive Order 2020-7 to authorize the Commonwealth Homeland Security & Emergency Management Office to undertake necessary Covid-19 containment measures — through the governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and in partnership with the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. — by implementing emergency directives.

These directives, which take effect Friday, April 17, include the imposition of penalties for violating social distancing rules: a $100 fine for the first offense; $250 and three-day imprisonment for second offense; and $500 and up, and six-month imprisonment, for third offense.

The emergency directives also require stores to limit by 50% of their capacity the number of customers entering inside at a time, and restrict consumption of food and beverages in the premises of bars and restaurants. These establishments will be allowed to serve only through in-house delivery, third-party delivery, drive-thru or curb-side pickup.

In addition, all public parks including Managaha will remain closed. Public beaches and pathways will also be closed except for purposes of wellness and exercise from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Gas station operations cannot operate outside the curfew hours of 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., and businesses engaged in gaming, casino, video poker and e-gaming will remain closed.

The governor stated in his EO that over the last couple of months, his administration had to implement necessary adjustments in the CNMI’s response, quarantine and preventive containment “due to the escalation in the severity of the ongoing significant emergency and public health emergency throughout the Commonwealth, the nation and the world as a result of Covid-19.”

As of Wednesday, the CNMI had 13 positive Covid-19 cases and two deaths.

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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