Amendment to Directive 14 of the Second Amended Executive Order 2020-04 to promote social distancing and prevent spread of COVID-19

On March 19, 2020, I issued the Second Amended Executive Order 2020-04 (hereinafter “SAEO 2020-04”). SAEO 2020-04 declared a continuing State of Significant Emergency and a State of Public Health Emergency for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands due to the imminent threat of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Under SAEO 2020-04, I invoked my authority under Article III, § 10 of the Commonwealth Constitution, the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Act of 2013, 1 CMC § 20144, and the CNMI Emergency Health Powers Act of 2003, 3 CMC §§ 2181-2195, to take all necessary measures to address the threats facing the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (“CNMI”). 

On March 30, 2020, I further amended Directive 14 of the SAEO 2020-04 closing all public beaches and pathways to the public. The goal was to decrease the amount of points of interaction and contact the population would have with each other. Upon further consultations with my government team and members of the public, I believe that physical exercise and shoreline subsistence fishing are critical to maintaining our community’s physical and mental health and wellness as long as strict social distancing requirements are met. 

Our goal is to contain and minimize the spread of COVID-19 in the CNMI. Your wellbeing and emotional resilience are equally as essential to help our community get through the COVID-19 pandemic. Practice self-care responsibly by adhering to strict social distancing directives. 

In conformance with the above findings, I amend Directive 14 of the SAEO 2020-04, sections (b)(3) to the Modifications and Exceptions as follows: 

DIRECTIVE 14: (b) Modifications and Exceptions: 

(3) All public beaches and pathways are closed to all activities except for individual use for purposes of exercise and wellness, both physical and mental, and shoreline subsistence fishing such as talåya and rod and reel, subject to the social distancing requirements of SAEO 2020-04. Provided further that exercise, wellness and shoreline subsistence fishing activities are only allowed from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. These amendments to Directive 14 are effective Saturday, April 4, 2020. Through these measures, as well as the other measures authorized by SAEO 2020-04, it is hoped that the COVID-19 infection will be contained in the CNMI. 

Sincerely, 

RALPH DLG. TORRES
Governor

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