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 SAEO 2020-04 by adding Directive 17 closing all boat ramps on Saipan with the exception of Garapan Fishing Base. In response the COVID-19 pandemic, it was the goal of the government to temporarily limit boating safety operations and response to only within the lagoon until such time that a full assessment of our capacity determines otherwise. Upon further consultations with my government team, United States Coast Guard Captain Christopher Chase, Commander for Sector Guam, and members of the boating and fishing community, I have determined that capacity for enforcement of boating safety operations and response is adequate to lift the restrictions to boating pursuant to Directive 17.
However, I must emphasize the importance for all vessel operators to ensure that vessels are thoroughly checked and maintained prior to entering the water. Operators and crew members must also practice self-care responsibly.
In conformance with the above findings, I amend the SAEO 2020-04, by deleting Directive 17 in its entirety.
I would like to thank USCG Sector Guam Commander Chase, our Department of Public Safety, and Department of Lands and Natural Resources for their commitment and partnership to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our vessel operators and crew members.
This rescission of Directive 17 is effective immediately. As we continue to adhere to the other measures authorized by SAEO 2020-04, it is hoped that the COVID-19 infection will be contained in the CNMI.
RALPH DLG. TORRES