Puerto Rico Department of Health Issues New COVID-19 Preventive Measures and Administrative Fines
By: Javier G. Vázquez-Segarra, Esq.
Angel Berberena, Esq.
August 25, 2020
On August 25, 2020, the Puerto Rico Department of Health issued Regulation 9210, also known as the Regulation Establishing Preventive Measures for the Administration of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Administrative Fines for Noncompliance (the “Regulation”). This new emergency Regulation outlines the obligations of individuals and businesses and creates administrative fines against infractors.
The Regulation establishes that every person: (1) is responsible for the compulsory use of face masks whenever they’re outside their homes or cars; (2) must maintain social distancing at a reasonable distance of at least 6 feet from people outside of their family unit; and (3) has to avoid participating in group activities unless social distancing guidelines are followed. Individuals must also disinfect their hands before and after going to closed spaces. Anyone suspected of having been exposed to someone who is positive to COVID-19 must stay home and immediately notify his/her employer and the Puerto Rico Department of Health.
The Regulation makes it mandatory for businesses and corporations to require individuals entering their establishments to: (1) use face masks covering their mouths and noses; (2) use hand sanitizers; (3) take customers’ temperature; and (4) follow social distancing guidelines. Businesses and corporations are also required to observe their maximum occupancy load limits as established by the Puerto Rico Governor’s Executive Orders.
Failure to comply with the previously mentioned measures will result in administrative fines of $100 for individuals and $500 for businesses and corporations. If the infraction is committed by a minor, the administrative fine will be given to the parent or legal guardian of said minor.
These administrative fines must be paid to the Puerto Rico Department of Treasury (“Hacienda”) within 3 days of the infraction and failure to make the payment within that time will automatically double the fine. Individuals and business have 30 days after the infraction to appeal before the Puerto Rico Court of First Instance but the appeal does not stall the payment of the fine or the double penalty for late payment.
Goldman Antonetti & Cordóva, LLC stands ready to assist you and your business to adjust to Puerto Rico’s regulatory and legal changes. If you need further assistance in this area, please contact any of the following members of our Firm:
|Luis Ortiz Abreu|
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