Puerto Rico Drops Most COVID-19 Measures

By Juan Felipe Santos and Carlos J. Saavedra-Gutiérrez © Jackson Lewis March 22, 2022
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woman throwing mask in trash bin

​Based on declining COVID-19 positivity rates and hospitalizations, and like other states and jurisdictions, Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi issued an executive order essentially dropping all COVID-19 measures.

Effective March 10, Executive Order (EO) 2022-019 eliminates most indoor and outdoor mask mandates, although it recommends use of masks indoors when there are no mechanisms to determine the vaccination status of those present. The only mask mandate remaining following the EO is for persons working or visiting health institutions and nursing homes.

The EO states that private establishments are free to continue mask mandates, as well as allow persons to continue using masks. In fact, the EO states that no person or private entity can prohibit a person from continuing to use face masks.

The EO also eliminates all vaccination and testing mandates, capacity reductions for commercial establishments, and mandates to request proof of vaccination from visitors. COVID-19 travel requirements are also dropped and mass gatherings are allowed, although activities with more than 1,000 persons in certain establishments must comply with protocols to be published by the Puerto Rico Department of Health.

Finally, the EO delegates authority to the Puerto Rico health secretary to establish new measures if the COVID-19 situation requires. On March 9, the secretary issued an administrative order requiring mask usage for persons working at or visiting public transportation facilities, health institutions, and nursing homes. The masking mandate was also extended to the education sector, for persons attending class indoors.  

Juan Felipe Santos and Carlos J. Saavedra-Gutiérrez are attorneys with Jackson Lewis in San Juan, Puerto Rico. © 2022 Jackson Lewis. All rights reserved. Reposted with permission. 

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