SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico’s governor on Thursday announced slight changes to ongoing COVID-19 measures as he noted that the number of cases and hospitalizations in the U.S. territory has dropped slightly.
A curfew that has been in place for nearly a year was shortened and will soon run from midnight to 5 a.m., while businesses will be allowed to stay open one additional hour until 11 p.m.
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi said the new measures will go into effect from Feb. 8 until March 14.
“The changes are few, but they’re fair and necessary,” he said. “We’re still being extremely prudent.”
Pierluisi also reiterated that he plans to open dozens of public schools next month for the first time in a year despite criticism from some parents and a teachers' association who worry the government is not prepared.
The island of 3.2 million people has reported more than 157,500 confirmed and suspected coronavirus cases and more than 1,850 COVID-19 deaths.
Puerto Rico has vaccinated more than 250,000 people, with officials recently announcing that this month they will inoculate only those 65 years and older. The island is receiving some 41,000 doses a week and has requested an increase in shipments.