Who is affected by limited hours of operations?
Following the first death in Guam due to COVID-19, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres added Directive 14 to his second amended Executive Order 2020-04 declaring a continued state of significant emergency and public health emergency for the CNMI that took effect yesterday.
According to the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force statement yesterday evening, Directive 14, called “Enhanced Social Distancing Directive,” is meant to limit public gatherings of people and to prevent potential public exposure of residents to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the CNMI. It is also meant to protect the elderly, the sick, and those with preexisting illnesses or underlying medical conditions, who are the most vulnerable to severe illness from the virus.
Based on the new directive, all businesses that have facilities open to the general public will only be allowed to open from 6am to 1pm, businesses that are beyond 1pm cannot be open to the public.
Businesses that will only be open to the public from 6am to 1pm include, but are not limited to:
• Grocery stores, retail stores, farmers’ markets, street markets, convenience stores, produce stands, and any store that sells household products (such as cleaning and personal care products) and other non-grocery products (such as clothing, electronics, and telecommunication services).
• Hardware stores
• Banks and financial institutions
• Entertainment facilities, movie theaters, skating rinks, children play areas, and arcades
• Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers
• Hair and nail salons
• Auto-supply, tire shops, auto-repair, and related facilities
• Car dealerships
• Insurance firms
• Businesses engaged in gaming such as the casino, video poker establishments, and e-gaming facilities.
• Businesses of the type described in this list.
Businesses can only set face-to-face appointments with customers and/or clients from 6am to 1pm.
Businesses that don’t need to follow the time restriction due to not having high public interactions are garbage collection, sanitation services, mailing and delivery services, and businesses of similar type.
After 1pm business owners and employers can allow employees to continue working behind closed doors and away from public interaction and also have the option to close operations at 1pm.
Additionally, they are expected to follow social distancing that include: taking inventory and stocking up supplies within a grocery store for the next day, administrative and clerical work, strategic planning and logistical planning, financial planning, record keeping, and producing budgets, small groups (less than 10) of employee training (in line with social distancing), small groups (less than 10) of professional development, and delivery and pickup of goods and services.
Exceptions and modifications
Business hours of restaurants, bars, and eateries are not affected by the time restrictions of Directive 14, but not allowed to have dine-in services.
Businesses are only allowed to serve food and beverages to customers that will be consumed off-premises, meaning at home or in an area away from public gatherings.
Restaurants can only serve customers through drive-thru, take-out, curbside pick-up, and delivery options. Customers may enter the premises to purchase food or beverages for take-out.
Establishments offering food or beverages for take-out, including food trucks, must ensure that they have an environment where patrons maintain adequate social distancing.
Businesses located in airports or hospitals are exempt from this directive.
Hotel restaurants may continue to provide room service and take-out and catering services may continue.
Customers/consumers waiting in line should practice social distancing.
All public parks, including Managaha Island and the Grotto, are closed to the public.
Large public gatherings that exceed more than 10 people on beaches are not permitted except for individuals, and couples and their children who may exercise or recreate on the beach.
Outside of the 6am-1pm hours, laundromats, dry-cleaners and laundry service providers may conduct drop-off/pick-up service.
The Commonwealth Health Care Corp., public and private health clinics, dental clinics and pharmacies are exempted from the restricted hours but may set hours that, in their judgment, deal with the threat of COVID-19. These facilities and businesses are encouraged to follow best social distancing practices.
Gas stations may remain open and set their own hours, but only for the dispensing of gasoline. If the station has a convenience store, then that store may not be open to the public before 6am or after 1pm. (Office of the Governor)