Beginning Thanksgiving Day, residents can be fined up to $1,000 and businesses fined up to $10,000 for failing to follow public health pandemic directives, according to a Joint Information Center press release.
The Department of Public Health and Social Services and Guam Police Department will be enforcing the rules and regulations that were previously discussed in two public hearings.
According to the DPHSS memo and JIC press release, the "regulations were developed to slow and contain the spread of COVID-19, which include but are not limited to the enforcement of the limitations on gatherings, the wearing of masks, the requirement to keep logs, and other actions outlined in DPHSS Guidance Memoranda and Directives."
DPHSS held two public hearings to gather comments to its draft regulations. The adopted Regulations are a result of that gathered feedback. Anyone who wants to challenge or pay the citations can go through the Traffic Division of the Superior Court of Guam.
One of the changes made to the draft regulations following the public hearings is the removal of a misdemeanor charge on the third offense, which came with a possible prison term for up to a year, according to Janela Carrera, DPHSS spokeswoman.
The fines will be applied to individuals who violate rules regarding:
• congregations or social gatherings;
• social distancing and the wearing of masks when congregating with persons not from the same household; or
• any restrictions on the use of public parks or beaches, and on organized or contact sports.
Violators could be fined the following:
• $100 for the first offense
• $250 for the second offense
• $1,000 for the third offense
For businesses and nonprofit organizations, unless otherwise authorized by DPHSS, found in violation of directives, which include submitting a mitigation plan, limiting authorized operations and occupancy, can be fined:
• $1,000 for the first offense
• $2,500 for the second offense
• $10,000 for the third offense
The fines collected will be deposited into the DPHSS COVID-19 account and shared equally by the GPD and DPHSS. A complete copy of the Regulations can be found on the DPHSS website at www.dphss.guam.gov.