An increase in positive cases of COVID-19, influenza, mycoplasma and other respiratory illnesses led the House of Representatives to decree a state of emergency, suspending in-person legislative activities until March 4.
“To guarantee the continuity of legislative work, any public hearing, executive meeting or final consideration session must be carried out remotely, through videoconferences, in accordance with the ordinary summons process established in the Rules of the House of Representatives. ”decreed the president of the Chamber, Rafael “Tatito” Hernandez Montanez.
Regarding visual inspections, Hernandez Montanez added, through written statements, that they can be carried out on a regular basis “always observing all applicable health protocols, and following the ordinary summons process established in the Regulations of the House of Representatives.”
“Each representative, director of the legislative office and/or administrative agency will establish a plan, as deemed necessary, to guarantee the continuity of services to citizens”he reported.
On February 6, the House of Representatives imposed the mandatory use of masks after several COVID-19 infections were recorded in the Capitol. The purpose of the measure, according to the administrator of that legislative body, Manuel Diaz Espino, was to avoid increasing infections.
The measure would be in force until February 29.
The representative of the Dignity Project, Lisie Burgos, refused to wear a mask, which caused her to be expelled from the chamber on February 6. Subsequently, the legislator expressed that she would be suing the House of Representatives for “preventing her from fulfilling her ministerial duty” and accused Hernandez Montanez of violating the Constitution.
On Monday, Judge Anthony Cuevas of the Court of San Juan ordered the administration of that legislative body to allow Burgos to enter and to desist from “prohibiting, impeding or interfering” with the legislator’s prerogatives.