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NMI returns to Level Blue

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AS of today, Monday, the CNMI is back on Community Vulnerability Level Blue, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres announced Sunday.

The temporary restrictions on in-person interactions, social gatherings, and business hours, which began on Aug. 24, have been lifted.

These past two weeks of temporary restrictions were used to determine how widespread community transmission was within the CNMI and to prevent further spread of the virus, the administration said.

It added that the Commonwealth has been able to contain community transmission due in large part to the proactive implementation of CNMI Covid-19 risk mitigation measures at the borders, as well as the cooperation of the community in adhering to guidance from local health officials.

“I want to thank all of our federal and local partners, our businesses, and everyone who calls the Marianas home for being with us in our efforts to keep our community safe from Covid-19,” the governor said.

“It has not been easy this year, but we can be proud knowing that the CNMI is one of the safest places in the world. Let’s continue to be vigilant and work together.”

Curfew

Curfew hours are back to being 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., with the exception of first responders who are on-duty and display a Covid-19 task force-issued badge; any person lawfully employed during the curfew hours is on direct route to or from their place of employment; and any person going to or returning from admission to the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. or completion of treatment such as hemodialysis.

Penalties for violating curfew mandates remain the same with first-time violators found in public, including individuals found driving on a public road, outside of the curfew hours will be subject to a fine of $200; second time, a fine of $500; third or more, a fine of $750 and/or the impound of his/her vehicle by the Department of Public Safety.

Each passenger in a vehicle found driving on a public road outside of the curfew hours will be subject to a $100 fine for the first offense, $200 for the second one, and $300 for the third offense or more.

Businesses

All businesses are permitted to open from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m., with occupancy limited to 75% in accordance with supplemental regulatory guidance set by the Department of Public Works Building Code.

Restaurants and bars must continue to serve dine-in customers under social distancing parameters and at 75% of their originally permitted occupancy, including employees serving patrons.

They must also conduct temperature screening of all employees and patrons prior to entering the establishment, document patrons' names and phone numbers in a log, which must be accessible to CNMI officials.

Employees and patrons are all required to wear face masks whether dining inside or outside.

Gas stations are permitted to open to the public between 5 a.m. and 1 a.m.

All gaming businesses, including the casino, video poker establishments, and e-gaming facilities, remain closed to the public, except if authorized to operate under an approved reopening plan by the governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and CHCC.

Gatherings

No more than 25 people are permitted to gather in a single room or single space.

All public parks, public pathways, and public beaches are open for all recreational activities and social gatherings, subject to the social distancing requirements regarding gatherings and curfew mandates.

Church services must limit attendance to 75% of their initial maximum occupancy and maintain social distancing and sanitation guidelines.

While the Grotto remains closed, Managaha Island is open for recreation and gatherings, so long as social distancing requirements are implemented for both transport vessels and on-island activities.

Transport vessels must be subject to constant and consistent disinfection. This section will be enforced by the Department of Public Lands.

Enforcement

The governor’s Covid-19 task force, in coordination with and with the assistance of the DPS, the Department of Commerce, the Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco Control Division, the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services, and any other necessary Commonwealth agency, shall enforce business hours and social distancing requirements.

Failure to follow will subject the violator to penalties available under the law or to immediate closure of their business establishment for a period of up to one month for first-time violators, up to six months for second-time violators, and up to a year for third-time violators or more.

Schools

All public and private schools in the CNMI are permitted to resume in-person instruction and activities, subject to the review and approval of operational plans and site assessments by the Governor’s Covid-19 Task Force, DPW, and CHCC.

They are encouraged to facilitate alternative modes of education, such as distance learning through online means or a hybrid of both in-person and online learning.

The Governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and CHCC continue to urge individuals to practice the 3W’s: wash your hands, watch your distance, and wear a face covering.

Individuals and businesses are encouraged to seek guidance regarding these protective measures. Please report any non-compliance of these directives to the Governor’s Covid-19 Task Force at 237-8034/8035/8036/8037.

The administration said that it remains important to be vigilant and to not let our guard down, which requires all CNMI residents to work together.

Since January, the administration, through the Governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and CHCC, has implemented strict and necessary constraints on activities throughout the CNMI in an effort to prevent and control the spread of coronavirus throughout the community.

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