Executive order bans caravans for the first time

For the first time since Puerto Rico began to suffer the ravages caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the governor Wanda Vazquez expressly prohibited caravans, an activity that was very common in the political campaigns in the face of the primarista process that concluded last weekend.

In section 14 of the Executive Order (OE) 2020-62, published this afternoon, it is stipulated that “all mass activities, both in open and closed spaces, including parades, caravans and similar activities that tend to crowds, are unauthorized.”

OE 2020-60, which will run until Friday, also prohibited mass activities, but did not explicitly mention caravans or parades.

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Vázquez herself participated in caravans during her political campaign, which came to an end on Sunday after being defeated by Pedro Pierluisi in the race for the candidacy for governor in the New Progressive Party.

OE 2020-62, on the other hand, does not contain the $ 100 fine that it would be imposed on people who go out into the street without masks, and that Vázquez mentioned yesterday when he announced the changes with respect to the previous decree.

In the section on non-compliance with the executive order, it is stated that “intervention is ordered with those citizens who fail to comply with the precautionary measures described in this Order, including the mandatory use of masks. Failure to comply with the provisions of this Order, the person will be subject to criminal proceedings. “

The only penalties referred to are the fine of up to $ 5,000 and sentence of up to six months in jail for violating any provision of the decree.

Yesterday, in addition, it was mentioned that the different industries would establish metrics that, if not met at the collective level, could lead to the closure of the entire sector. OE 2020-62, however, does not specify these parameters or to which industries they would apply..

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“As part of the efforts to monitor compliance with this executive order, the private sector has established a collaborative surveillance system aimed at self-monitoring of each economic sector regarding the management of COVID-19 infections in establishments”, is the the only language referring to the “self-inspection” mechanism that is included in the decree.

It is also indicated that employers must comply with the self-certification protocols established by the Department of Labor, in guidelines that were published in March, at the beginning of the pandemic.

The executive order also did not stipulate a closure of the churches, despite the fact that the Secretary of Health, Lorenzo Gonzalez, had anticipated this week that it would be done. Instead, The same provision will apply to churches as to most commercial spaces, in which the public will be allowed up to 25% of the maximum capacity.

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