BREAKING NEWS: NMI restores some COVID-19 restrictions

Posted on Aug 21 2020

Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres announced today, Aug. 21, 2020, that the CNMI COVID-19 Emergency Directives have been amended to temporarily reimplement restrictions on in-person interactions, social gatherings, and business hours to protect the health and safety of the people of the CNMI.

The following restrictions will become effective Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, through Sunday, Sept. 6, 2020.


Gatherings of more than 10 people in a single room or single space are prohibited at the same time for social activities, including but not limited to, community, civic, public leisure, or sporting events, parades, concert, festivals, throughout the CNMI.


Church services must limit attendance to 50% of allowed occupancy and maintain social distancing and sanitation guidelines.


All businesses that have facilities open to the general public shall only be open to the public from 4am to 9pm.

All businesses shall also limit occupancy to 50% 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 50% of their originally permitted occupancy. • In addition to social distancing, restaurants and bars must conduct temperature screening of all employees and patrons prior to entering the establishment. For patrons, establishments must document patrons’ name and phone number in a log, which must be accessible to CNMI officials.

  • Employees are required to wear facial coverings when providing service to the patrons and are included in the 50% occupancy limit.
  • Patrons are also required to wear face masks whether dining inside or outside.

Gas stations are permitted to open only from 4am to 9pm.

All businesses engaged in gaming, including the casino, video poker establishments, and e-gaming facilities. arc closed to the public, except if authorized to operate under an approved reopening plan by the Governor’s COV1D- 19 Task Force and CHCC.


The Governors COVID- 1 9 Task Force, in coordination with and with the assistance of the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Commerce, Alcohol Beverage & 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 the following:

  • First-time offense violators will be subject to immediate closure of their business establishment for a period up to one month;
  • Second-time offense violators will be subject to immediate closure of their business establishment for a period up to six months;
  • Third-time or more offense violators will be subject to immediate closure of their business establishment for a period up to one year.

Since January, the Torres-Palacios administration, through the Governor’s COVID-I9 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., has implemented strict, but necessary constraints on activities throughout the Commonwealth in an effort to prevent and control the and spread of coronavirus throughout our community.

Due in large part to the quick implementation of these risk mitigation measures, the continued success of the CNMI’s COVID-19 preventative measures at the borders, as well as the cooperation of the community in adhering to guidance from CNM1 health officials, the CNMI has been able to contain community transmission.

On Aug. 14, 2020, CHCC identified the CNMI’s 50th case of COVID-19 through a mandatory pre-operation screening for a scheduled surgery operation at the hospital. CHCC had already initiated contact tracing for contacts of the 50th case, which led to the early identification of the CNMI’s 54th case of COVID-19, strongly suggesting community transmission.

CHCC contact tracing teams are actively questioning identified contacts, assessing exposure risk, and testing as needed. In light of these new cases, the risk of community spread among residents and significant increases in Guam. Torres, the COVID-19 Task Force, and CHCC have determined that the same protective measures that successfully protected the Commonwealth since the beginning of the pandemic must be reimplemented to prevent further spread of the virus.

The entire community is to be commended for washing their hands, wearing a mask, and watching their distance in public. However, now is the time to not let our guard down, which requires all CNMI residents to do their part.

“It is critically important that the people of the Commonwealth continue to remain vigilant and take personal responsibility to protect ourselves, our families, our friend, our man’amko, and our loved ones with preexisting illnesses from COV.19 community spread. This is our number one priority right now,” said Torres. (PR)


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