Puerto Rico said this week that residents 16 years of age or older will become eligible for the Covid-19 vaccination on Monday. And after a recent spike in new coronavirus cases, the island will be implementing a longer nighttime curfew from Friday.
The start of the curfew, which will last until May 9, will move until 10 p.m., starting at midnight, and will continue to end at 5 a.m., Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi said on Wednesday in a statement. communicated. Restaurants and businesses can continue to operate at 50% of their capacity, while bars and clubs remain closed, he said.
Puerto Rico became the last US territory to open vaccination to all adults, joining Guam and the US Virgin Islands.
“We are seeing a dangerous spike in Covid cases which has led to an increase in hospitalizations and deaths,” Mr. Pierluisi said. “I have been very careful with the reopening and have always been willing to make the necessary adjustments to prevent the cases from escalating.”
The average number of new coronavirus cases reported daily in Puerto Rico has jumped 98% in the past two weeks, according to a New York Times database.
Already struggling with a debt crisis and the aftermath of the hurricanes that have ravaged the island in recent years, Puerto Rico has so far seen only 23% of its total population receive at least one dose of vaccine, ranking it last among US states and territories.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday that nationwide, about 110 million people, or about one-third of the U.S. population, had received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. Earlier this week, Hawaii became the last of 50 states to speed up its schedule to make all adults eligible for the vaccine, responding to President Biden’s calls for states, territories and tribes to do so.
While the pace of vaccinations across the country has averaged about three million doses per day, outbreaks of the virus in the Midwest and Northeast worry federal health officials.