Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero today signed an executive order suspending the work search requirement for those receiving federal unemployment benefits, pending a designation of Pandemic Condition of Readiness 4 (PCOR 4).
Guam is currently under PCOR3, which allows the reopening of more businesses at limited capacity.
"The continued limitations on the operation of local private businesses affect the ability of these businesses to employ our local workforce at pre-Covid capacity, and consequently, our workers continue to experience unemployment or underemployment due to the Covid-19 crisis, such that it is necessary for unemployment assistance and compensation programs to continue in order to support our workers and their families during the public health emergency," the executive order states.
Private businesses o Guam are allowed to operate at no more than 50 percent capacity or up to 10 people, whichever is greater.
The PUA program, authorized by President trump's Coronavirus Aid Rescue and Security Act, provides temporary benefits to individuals whose employment or self-employment has been lost or interrupted as a direct result of Covid-19. The PUA program, in general, provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits.
Guam’s PUA weekly benefit amount is $345 a week. Employees who have been laid off or furloughed due to Covid-19 qualify for the full amount. Employees still working but making less than $345 a week qualify for PUA minus their wages. Those making $345 or more do not qualify for PUA.
“In previous disasters, recovery efforts always followed response. Under Covid-19, our response and recovery efforts are simultaneous. As we continue to work and prepare for our recovery, we must implement policies that protect both lives and livelihoods,” the governor said.
The executive order also reinstates the quarantine requirement for all persons entering Guam.
The directive also temporarily authorizes the remote notarization and attestation for notary publics and continues restrictions for entry into Guam.
The new directive reverses last week's order, which eased restrictions and quarantine requirement for travelers from low-riskk countries.