Puerto Rico is set to reopen retail businesses, beaches, and places of worship on Tuesday, with a warning from health experts that the U.S. territory’s government is not prepared for a possible surge in new infections as it moves from a two-month lockdown.
Governor Wanda Vázquez announced Thursday that most businesses will reopen under strict new rules, including restrictions on how many people will be allowed inside restaurants.
Food truck owner Mauro Alago welcomed the reopenings, saying, "It's a relief because people finally have green light.” He also said he believes all businesses will be able to adapt to the new rules.
A curfew, from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., will remain in place until June 15, and people are still required to wear face masks.
Vázquez said the restricted reopenings will protect people and provide an economic boost to the island, still recovering from hurricanes and earthquakes.
Although Puerto Rico continues to add dozens of coronavirus cases daily, Vázquez said, "[I]t’s the right time, and we have flattened the curve.”
Puerto Rico’s Health Department confirms more than 2,900 COVID-19 cases and 126 deaths.
Vázquez said gyms and movie theaters will remain closed and malls will reopen June 8.