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Important Notification from McV: Puerto Rico on Lockdown due to COVID-19

McV News

The Governor of Puerto Rico, Honorable Wanda Vázquez, issued today Executive Order 2020-023 to make feasible the necessary closings of Government offices and the private sector, so as to counter the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and control the risk of transmission in the Island.

In view of Executive Order 2020-023, explained below, McConnell Valdés LLC wishes to inform its clients that its main offices in San Juan will remain closed until March 30, 2020.

Please know that all our attorneys will be working remotely, and accessible by email or by phone until this crisis subsides. 

 Summary of Executive Order 2020-023

  • Based on Article VI, Sections 5 and 6 of the Constitution of Puerto Rico, Article I of Act 81 of March 14, 1912, as amended, Act 20-2017, the state of emergency is declared pursuant to EO-2020-020. As such, the Government has understood that it is absolutely necessary to implement further island-wide isolation and quarantine measures.
  • To that end, there will be a curfew in place applicable to everybody in Puerto Rico, starting tonight March 15th at 9pm. The curfew will run from 9pm to 5am daily.
  • The Executive Order also provides for a shutdown of Government Operations, exempting only those related to essential services, as well as a shutdown of all business activity in Puerto Rico until March 30th, unless otherwise provided.
  • The following businesses are exempt:
    • retail sale of food, by drive-thru, carry-out, or delivery
    • sale of medicines or medical equipment
    • pharmacies
    • supermarkets
    • gas stations
    • banking and financial institutions
    • assisted-living homes
    • those businesses related to the distribution chain for food items, medicines, health-related articles and fuel.
  • Moreover, the Executive Order applies to all shopping malls, movie theaters, discos, concert halls, theaters, gaming parlors, casinos, theme parks, gyms, bars, or any similar venue and business or event that would entail a gathering of people within its premises.
  • The authorized transit of vehicles and people walking in public roads is allowed for the following purposes and only within the time-frame between 5 am and 9 pm:
    • purchase of food items, medicine, and other basic necessities
    • medical appointments or traveling to a hospital, laboratory, or any other medical service facility
    • transit to the working place for essential services and all those governmental offices or businesses not ordered to be closed by this Executive Order
    • return transit or movement back to the home from any allowed activity
    • to provide assistance, care, and transport to the elderly, minors, dependents, people with disabilities, or those in need of some kind of medical or professional assistance
    • to go to a financial institution
    • During curfew (between 9pm and 5am), transit or walking in public roads is only permitted for emergency purposes
  •  The following personnel must be duly identified in order to be exempted from the curfew time limitation:
    • duly identified personnel from public and private safety agencies at state or federal level
    • health industry professionals
    • personnel who work in hospitals, pharmacies, pharmaceuticals, bio-science installations or health centers
    • personnel in the wholesale distribution chain of manufactured goods and foodstuff (from its origin to final disposition to consumer)
    • personnel working in critical infrastructure and call-centers
    • personnel working at the ports or airports
    • members of the press
    • any citizen who is attending to an emergency or health situation.  All of these will be authorized to travel to and from work and whichever hour is necessary.

The Police and the Department of Public Security are entrusted with the responsibility to ensure full compliance of the Executive Order. Any person or business found to be in violation of the terms of this Executive Order will be subject to up to six months of jail time, or up to $5,000 in fines, or both, subject to the discretion of the court.

We want to reiterate our commitment to you, specially under these strenuous circumstances. Again, if you need to reach our attorneys, they will be available by email and by cellular phone. We will continue keeping you informed of further developments through our Alert system and our website.

Please stay safe and follow these measures. 

The content of this McV Alert has been prepared for information purposes only. It is not intended as, and does not constitute, either legal advice or solicitation of any prospective client. An attorney-client relationship with McConnell Valdés LLC cannot be formed by reading or responding to this McV Alert. Such a relationship may be formed only by express agreement with McConnell Valdés LLC.

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