Following Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ updated directive, anyone who will get caught disregarding the enhanced 7pm to 6am curfew hours for all CNMI residents, and the strict limit of 10 people for social gatherings, will be penalized.
The amended directive prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people in a single room or space, at the same time, for social, spiritual and recreational activities. This includes community, civic, public leisure, faith-based, or sporting events, parades, concerts, festivals, fiestas, conventions, fundraisers, and similar activities.
This is based on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Public Health’s recommendation of 10 or fewer people in line with the practice of social distancing.
Further, adults and minors caught loitering in any public streets, highways, roads, alleys, parks, public buildings, places of amusement, and entertainment, restaurants, cafes and other eateries, or vacant lots and places in all of the CNMI, from 7pm until 6am, may be imprisoned for up to 30 days, and do community service for up to 250 hours.
“There are reports of persons gathering in the evenings for social or other gatherings. Such actions flout the government’s efforts to promote staying at home and endanger the community through potential spread of COVID-19,” Torres stated. “Imposing a curfew on all persons, adults and minors, will aid with the efforts to stop large social gatherings. It will also aid the CNMI in easing the load of our stretched law enforcement personnel by allowing fewer personnel to patrol greater amounts of the island.”
Appropriate proceedings may be instituted under the provisions of the juvenile court law. Parents, guardians, or adults having custody of minors who will be caught violating shall be fined not more than $750.
First responders, medical workers, law enforcement officers, and private sector employees on duty within the curfew hours are exempted. Minors (under 18 years old) with their parent, guardian, or an adult, who are in the direct route driving and returning home, or who are on-duty during the curfew hours, are also exempted.