Business hours: 6am-1pm

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Posted on Mar 24 2020
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Effective today, all businesses are to open their facilities to the public only from 6am to 1pm.

Businesses may continue to operate outside these hours, but no facility will be open to the public and must strictly follow social distancing practices, i.e., no less than 6 feet apart.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres amended yesterday his executive order—his second—adding a directive restricting business operations, in order to limit contacts between people, as a COVID-19 preventative measure, following the growing number of positive cases in Guam.

According to the governor, discussions with the Commonwealth Health Care Corp. indicate that prevention and containment of COVID-19 in the CNMI is an absolute necessity, given the CNMI’s limited resources.

“This would be best aided by decreasing the amount of points of interaction and contact the population will have with each other. In this way, a person infected with COVID-19 will have fewer chances to infect other persons,” Torres said.

Under the new directive, all businesses that have facilities open to the public shall only be open to the public from 6am to 1pm. Businesses may operate outside of these hours, but may not be open to the general public.

Casinos, video poker establishments, e-gaming facilities, and other businesses engaged in gaming are to operate within these restricted hours as well.

Further, when open to the public, businesses are encouraged to follow the recommended at least 6 feet social distancing practice.

Modifications and exceptions

Restaurants and bars, or any businesses that offer food or beverages for “on-premises consumption” must suspend such services. These businesses are permitted and encouraged, instead, to serve food and beverages for off-premises consumption, such as through in-house delivery, third-party delivery, drive-thru, and curb-side pick-up.

While customers may enter the premises to buy food or beverages for take-out, the establishments (including food trucks) must ensure that adequate social distancing is observed.

Hotel restaurants may continue to provide room service and take-out. Catering services may continue.

Businesses located in airports or hospital are exempt from this directive.

As far as parks and beaches are concerned, all public parks, including Mañagaha Island and the Grotto, are also closed to the public. Public gatherings on beaches are also not permitted except that individuals, couples, and their children may exercise or recreate on the beach.

Laundromats, dry-cleaners, and laundry service providers are to conduct their normal business, open to the general public, between 6am to 1pm, but outside those hours, may only conduct drop-off/pick-up service.

Gas stations may remain open and set their own hours, but only for the dispensing of gasoline. The gas station’s convenience store is only to be open between 6am to 1pm.

The Commonwealth Health Center, public and private health clinics, dental clinics, and pharmacies may set hours that, in their judgment, best deal with the COVID-19 threat. These facilities and businesses are also encouraged to follow social distancing practices.

CHCC, with the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Commerce, Alcohol Beverage & Tobacco Control Division, the Department of Fire & Emergency Medical Services, and any other Commonwealth agency are to enforce this directive.

Violators will be subjected to penalties.

Iva Maurin | Author
Iva Maurin is a communications specialist with environment and community outreach experience in the Philippines and in California. She has a background in graphic arts and is the Saipan Tribune’s community and environment reporter. Contact her at iva_maurin@saipantribune.com
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