Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC) Manuel Laboy said it is time to reopen the economy in Puerto Rico, as the costs to the island’s challenging economy are mounting.
One estimate forecasts that the economic losses to Puerto Rico due to the COVID-19 crisis, which includes a lockdown and curfew for at least six weeks, could reach $10 billion.
The island is in the fifth week of the lockdown and a curfew.
"We are in a dialogue with economists, who update us on estimates," said the official on the matter in a WIPR televised program with the participation of the government’s Economic Task Force.
In this regard, he said that "we must open the economy in an orderly manner by sector" and assured that "federal and state is arriving" for small businesses and those whose jobs have been affected by the coronavirus epidemic.
Laboy explained that the economy must be opened “little by little,” with the necessary controls in place to protect people’s lives and ensure that coronavirus does not continue to spread on the island.
Among the sectors that should start to open are tourism, construction, real estate and professional-services firms, he indicated.