SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Tuesday new restrictions to public health regulations to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The state has missed its reopening gating criteria for several weeks and once again indoor dining service will be restricted and amendments to maximum occupancy allowances at retail and dining establishments will also see new restrictions.
The governor is putting a curfew on how late restaurants serving alcohol can stay open and cutting down the size of what’s considered a mass gathering. New Mexico has seen a spike in cases for more than two weeks. The governor warned last week of changes if cases didn’t go down.
Tuesday, the governor announced restaurants serving alcohol must close their doors by 10 p.m. starting this Friday. Gecko’s Nob Hill has been closing at 11 p.m. every night, but with Tuesday’s announcement, the manager says this is just another hit to the restaurant industry and he’s concerned he and his staff won’t have jobs with this newest change.
“Any bartender any server can say that like one hour could make your night for sure,” says Levar Eskeets. Also included in the revised health order, mass gatherings of five or more people are not allowed, once again.
Right now, the NMAA currently allows its athletes to practice in pods of nine with one coach, which is in line with the current mass gathering rule of 10. A spokesperson says they are trying to see how this will affect them and if they have to change practices underway.
Another notable change is the quarantine travel rule. Now, anyone who comes from a high-risk state must quarantine for 14-days regardless if they can provide a negative test result.
Hotels also have to make some changes. Those that have completed the state’s safety training program can operate at 60% capacity and those who haven’t done the training program can operate at 25%.
Starting Friday, Oct. 16, the following will go into effect:
Temporary Closing Time
Any food or drink establishment in New Mexico serving alcohol must close at 10 p.m. each night.
Maximum occupancy restrictions will be reduced to 60% for places of lodging that have completed N.M. Safe Certified training program and to 25% for places of lodging that have not completed the training program – a reduction of maximum occupancy from 75% and 50%, respectively.
The governor will amend her executive order that requires a period of mandatory self-quarantine for individuals arriving in New Mexico from out of state. Individuals arriving from “higher-risk states,” or those with a test positivity rate exceeding 5% and a test positivity rate higher than 80 per 100,000 residents, will no longer be exempt from the period of mandatory self-quarantine if they test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of their arrival into New Mexico. All individuals arriving from those higher-risk states – a list of which is updated each Wednesday at cv.nmhealth.org/travel-recommendations – must self-quarantine for a period of no less than 14 days or for the duration of their stay in New Mexico, whichever is shorter.
Mass gatherings of more than 5 individuals are once again prohibited. Previously, the state had allowed gatherings of more than 10 individuals. A “mass gathering” is defined as any public or private gathering, organized event, ceremony, parade, organized amateur contact sport, or other groupings that bring together individuals in an indoor or outdoor space.
The governor and state health officials are scheduled to discuss the extended public health order and other COVID-19 data in the state’s regular COVID-19 public update Thursday; additional details about that event will be disseminated later this week.
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