Curfew hours are now from 10pm to 5am.
The new hours come soon after the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the CNMI has gone to zero and mass testing started last week at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport.
The original curfew was from 7pm to 6am, for a total of 11 hours; the new curfew is just seven hours, and is touted by the Torres administration as a result of the “demonstrated success of the community in strictly following the set curfew and social distancing directives.”
People will now be able to exercise in cooler temperatures and expand the hours for fishing.
“These activities, and other similar activities, are critical to maintaining our community’s physical and mental wellbeing as long as social distancing requirements are met,” said Gov. Ralph DLG Torres in a new directive
Under the new curfew, no one should loiter, or be in, on, or about any public streets, highways, roads, alleys, parks, public buildings, places of amusement and entertainment, or vacant lots and places in the CNMI between 10pm and 5am. This applies to both adults and minors, and violators will be subject to penalties.
First-time violators will be fined $200; second-time offense violators will be fined $500; third-time or more offense violators will be fined $750 and/or the impound of his/her vehicle by the Department of Public Safety. Passengers in a vehicle found driving on a public road outside curfew hours will each be fined up to $300.
According to the COVID-19 Task Force, through Special Assistant for Homeland Security & Emergency Management Gerald J. Deleon Guerrero and Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. chief executive officer Esther Muña, the amendment does not mean that there is no longer a threat to the CNMI community.
“In the absence of treatments and vaccines proven to be safe and effective, please continue to turn to social distancing to avoid a spike in serious illnesses and deaths that could overwhelm our healthcare system,” the new directive states.
CHCC will also continue to investigate all COVID-19 suspects and cases, as well as identify contacts to ensure that transmission of the virus on the island is contained, by expanding contact tracing to all communities.
The original curfew, where all residents must be home by 7pm, was placed by the governor in the CNMI last March 30, following the death of a then-suspected, but later confirmed COVID-19 patient on the island.