The key thing to remember under Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero's executive order prohibiting gatherings and mandating social isolation is that no congregating is allowed to prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
The following answers were provided by the governor's Policy Director Carlo Branch:
Question: Can people still drive around the island?
Yes. This is not a lockdown. Movement in public is limited but not totally banned.
Question: People can still go out to buy essential stuff?
Yes, people can still go out and buy food items, visit clinics, buy medicine and purchase essential supplies including from the hardware store.
Question: Are restaurants allowed to continue operating?
Yes, to a limited extent. Takeouts and drive-throughs are allowed. Hotel room service is allowed. Dine-ins in a restaurant are not allowed.
Question: Can hotels continue operating?
Yes, to a limited extent. Hotels can still sell hotel rooms. Check-in/check-out desks can continue operating. But restaurants, bars, ballrooms and function rooms inside hotels cannot host gatherings. Essentially if an activity involves hanging out in public in a group setting that's not allowed under the executive order.
Earlier today, the governor issued the executive order prohibiting gatherings and mandating social isolation.
As of 12 p.m Friday, and through March 30, "any place of business or public accommodation shall close and be prohibited from on-site operations," according to the order.
And beginning Friday at noon, through March 30, all public gatherings or congregations for entertainment, food and beverage service, theater, bowling, fitness or similar activities are prohibited. This will cover public venues where food or beverages are served and consumed at a table or bar.
The prohibitions will not apply to the following:
- Healthcare operations, including home health workers
- Essential infrastructure, including construction of housing and operation of public transportation and utilities;
- Grocery stores, farmers' markets, food banks, convenience stores;
- Businesses that provide for economically disadvantaged individuals and shelter facilities;
- Pharmacies, health care supply stores and health care facilities;
- Gas stations and auto repair facilities;
- Banks and credit unions;
- Garbage collection;
- Hardware stores, plumbers, electricians, and other service providers necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences and other essential businesses;
- Educational institutions, for the purpose of facilitating distance learning;
- Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers;
- Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food and goods directly to residences; and
- Businesses that provide services required for any essential business to maintain basic operations, which include security, payroll and similar activities.
The Department of Public Health and Social Services and/or the Department of Revenue and Taxation may issue guidance, subject to the governor's approval, to implement the order.
These two agencies will enforce the executive order and may do so with assistance from the Guam Police Department.
Businesses that refuse to comply may be subject to revocation of their business license and other penalties
The order also allows the appointment of health care personnel for the duration of the emergency. All licensing requirements, permits or fees required by law or regulations are waived for health care providers, and the waiver will continue until the emergency situation is resolved, according to the governor.
GovGuam remains operating at a limited capacity. Some agencies are completely closed. Several agencies are operating but closed to the public. Other agencies are completely open.
"All members of the public needing government services are asked to contact agencies and departments by email or phone," the order stated.