Restaurants will be allowed to expand their dine-in services from 25% to 50% capacity on Saturday, ahead of Guam's return to Pandemic Condition of Readiness 2 at 8 a.m. on Monday.
By Tuesday, schools will also welcome back students to their classrooms.
A change from Pandemic Condition of Readiness 1, the highest level of pandemic condition of readiness, to PCOR 2, means "most activities will be permitted to operate under moderate restrictions," according to the governor's director of communications, Krystal Paco-San Agustin.
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero will be signing an executive order moving Guam to PCOR2 as the island has had a COVID-19 Area Risk score under 5 for nearly 50 consecutive days, Paco-San Agustin said on Thursday.
"This correlates to low hospitalizations, fewer deaths and fewer positive cases," she said.
Guam Visitors Bureau Board Chairman Sonny Ada and GVB Vice President Gerry Perez on Thursday said moving Guam to PCOR2 is welcome news, as the island prepares to reopen its tourism industry.
But while most businesses will be in operation by Monday, albeit at limited capacity for some, bars will remain closed.
"We are devastated," Thomas Peinhopf, who represents dozens of bar and tavern owners, said, upon learning that Guam's transition to PCOR2 would still exclude bars from reopening.
Since March 2020, bars and taverns were allowed to operate only for a few weeks, and at 50% capacity.
Peinhopf, operator of Livehouse in Tumon and The Shady Lady in Dededo, and other bar owners, have called for fairness, especially at a time when the government has already allowed bingo halls, game rooms and amusement parks to reopen.
Still with restrictions
As Guam eases into PCOR2, the biggest change will be relative to indoor dining.
Effective Saturday, pending signing of the executive order, restaurants will be permitted to operate at no more than 50% occupancy, but still subject to guidance set by the Department of Public Health and Social Services, Paco-San Agustin said.
These guidelines include:
- Wearing of masks when not eating
- Signing in for at least one member of the party
- No more than six people per table for indoor dining
- Temperature checks
- Sanitizing upon entry
Paco-San Agustin said businesses should encourage patrons to download Guam COVID Alert app.
Highest in the nation
GVB's Perez said as of Jan. 12, there were 30,001 people who have downloaded the Guam COVID Alert App.
"We have the highest adoption rate in the nation," GVB's Perez said, referring to the recognition from PathCheck and MIT Technology Review.
Even if Guam's download rate of nearly 41% is still below Public Health's goal of 60%, that is still far ahead of the efforts by states and territories.
GVB has actively campaigned for public downloading of the COVID-19 alert app to assist Public Health in containing the virus.