Puerto Rico extends anti-coronavirus measures for 2 weeks

DÁNICA COTO

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico’s governor announced Friday that she would extend for two more weeks measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

That means bars, gyms, marinas and movie theaters across the U.S. territory will stay shuttered until at least Aug. 15. Beaches remain closed on Sundays, and are open the rest of the week only to people doing exercise, including surfers, swimmers and runners.

Face masks continue to be mandatory, and those who refuse to wear one will be arrested, Gov. Wanda Vázquez said.

A curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. will remain in place, and no parties or gatherings will be allowed in short-term rental facilities.

“Until a vaccine is found ... we all have to do our part,” the governor said.

Meanwhile, Carla Campos, executive director of Puerto Rico’s tourism company, said arrivals dropped 25% and reservations fell 84% just last week alone. She and other officials cited as one factor recent pandemic measures, including a requirement that a visitor present a negative virus test upon arrival.

“It is definitely not the time to be flying,” Campos said.

Vázquez’s administration has repeatedly sought permission from the federal government to temporarily halt flights from COVID-19 hot spots in the U.S. mainland to no avail.

The U.S. territory of 3.2 million people has reported more than 5,900 confirmed coronavirus cases and at least 219 deaths. The rollbacks were first announced two weeks ago as health experts reported a spike in COVID-19 cases.

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