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Office of the Governor: Reduction in Curfew Hours - Amendment to Directive 16 of the CNMI COVID-19 Emergency Directives of 2020 (May 1, 2020)

On April 16, 2020, the Governor issued Executive Order 2020-07 that authorized the CNMI Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office, through the CNMI COVID-19 Task Force, in partnership with Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC), to undertake necessary COVID-19 containment measures by means of the development of Emergency Directives to be titled the CNMI COVID-19 Emergency Directives of 2020 to protect the health and safety of the public. This action was authorized under Article III, § 10 of the Commonwealth Constitution, the Homeland Security & Emergency Management Act of 2013, 1 CMC § 20144, and the CNMI Emergency Health Powers Act of 2003, 3 CMC §§ 2181-2195, and Executive Order 2020-04, as amended and renewed.

Through Directive 16 of the Emergency Directives, a curfew was imposed to aid efforts to contain COVID-19 by stopping large social gatherings. It was also imposed to ease the load on our stretched law enforcement personnel by allowing fewer personnel to patrol greater amounts of our islands. The directive has been successful in achieving its goals. Because of the demonstrated success of the community in following the curfew and refraining from social gatherings, it is now believed that reducing the curfew hours from 10 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. is now warranted. Such an extension will permit persons to exercise in cooler temperatures and expand the hours for fishing. These activities, and other similar activities, are critical to maintaining our community’s physical and mental well-being as long as social distancing requirements are met.

In conformance with the above findings, section (a) of Directive 16 of the CNMI COVID-19 Emergency Directives is amended to read as follows:

  • (a) Effective May 1, 2020, pursuant to my authority under the Second Amended Executive Order 2020-04, 1 CMC § 20144(h)(4)(ii), 3 CMC § 2191(d)(2) and NMIAC § 140-10.3- 340, no person, adult or minor, shall loiter or be present in, on or about any public streets, highways, roads, alleys, parks, public buildings, places of amusement and entertainment, or vacant lots and places within the islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. Violators will be subject to the penalties described in NMIAC § 140-10.3-401 or the penalties stated below in Section (d).

    We wish to extend our appreciation to the community for their patience and cooperation with the curfew. Your cooperation in following the curfew, not participating in large social gatherings, following strict social distancing guidelines, and following our other Emergency Directives will prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our islands.

This amendment in no way means that there is no longer a threat to the CNMI Community. In the absence of treatments and vaccines proven to be safe and effective, please continue to turn to social distancing to avoid a spike in serious illnesses and deaths that could overwhelm our healthcare system.

CHCC and the COVID-19 Taskforce will continue to frequently provide the island residents with health information and guidance to practice effective prevention measure to keep our community safe. In the meantime, CHCC will continue to investigate all suspects and cases and identify contacts to ensure that transmission of COVID-19 is contained. In order to achieve this, CHCC will expand contact tracing to all communities.

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