Puerto Rico to reopen bars, clubs for 1st time amid pandemic

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico will reopen bars and clubs for the first time since the pandemic began following a significant drop in COVID-19 cases and deaths, the U.S. territory’s governor announced Thursday.

Those and other places including party buses will only be allowed to operate at 50% capacity, said Gov. Pedro Pierluisi.

He also said those who are vaccinated will no longer have to wear a mask outside, although masks are still required for everyone entering any kind of business.

“We’re getting close to normal,” he said, but added, “We can’t claim victory yet.”

The new measures go into effect June 7 through July 4 and were announced just weeks after officials lifted a curfew that had been in place for more than a year.

The island of 3.3 million people has reported more than 138,000 confirmed and probable cases and more than 2,500 deaths. Nearly half of the island’s population is fully vaccinated, with Pierluisi expecting herd immunity in a couple of months.

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