Even for the rising number of COVID-19 infections, Puerto Rico is considered safe to travel to as it’s one of the most vaccinated places in the U.S. Up to date, more than 80% of its eligible citizens have been fully vaccinated.
The milestone came as the U.S. mainland struggled with a rapid spread of the highly contagious Delta variant among the unvaccinated.
From August 16, all hotel and short-term rental visitors have to be vaccinated (info below).
How safe is to visit Puerto Rico now – Latest Updates
January 22 – Puerto Rico reports 42 deaths related to COVID-19 in a single day
Today, January 22, Puerto Rico has recorded 42 coronavirus-related deaths, according to a preliminary report conducted by the Department of Health. That’s the highest number of daily fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic.
16 of the cases were not vaccinated at all, 19 cases had received two courses of the vaccine, and 7 had received a booster shot. However, they had all suffered from underlying health conditions.
The good news is that hospitalizations have dropped down to 791, of which 103 are connected to artificial ventilation.
Up to date, the COVID-19 positivity rate in Puerto Rico is 27.01%, meaning that 27 of every 100 tests result positive.
December 14 – New restrictions for international travelers visiting Puerto Rico
Along with other countries around the world, Puerto Rico has tightened its entry restrictions due to the fear of the new Omicron variant.
As of December 6, all international visitors must present a negative test result taken no more than 24 hours before departure.
Also, at least 100 arriving passengers are tested randomly at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport every day. The number of random tests could vary depending on the positivity rate, the incidence of the virus, and the total number of daily arrivals.
Puerto Rico’s Health Care System and Response Capacity
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently ranks the island at level 2 (moderate level of transmission).
Travelers must be aware that medical resources in Puerto Rico may be a challenge. Those who get infected with COVID-19 while traveling in Puerto Rico will need to pay for their medical treatment plus accommodation during the time they will be quarantined.
To avoid these kinds of inconveniences, it’s highly recommendable to plan ahead and get health insurance that covers COVID-19, including accommodation in case it is needed.
COVID-19 cases in Puerto Rico
Fully vaccinated domestic travelers are required to upload their vaccination card to the Travel Declaration Form portal.
Unvaccinated domestic travelers need to present a negative COVID-19 test taken no longer than 72 hours prior to arrival. Those arriving without a test will face a USD 300 fine.
International travelers regardless of their vaccination status must submit a negative COVID-19 test taken no longer than 24 hours before departure. Those arriving without a test will face a USD 300 fine.
Vaccination progress in Puerto Rico
As of January 21, 2,516,882 Puerto Ricans have received two full series of a vaccine against the virus. That is more than 80% of the population.
Why visit Puerto Rico in COVID-19 times
With its Caribbean average temperature of 80 degrees, alongside blue skies, beaches, and colorful landscapes, nobody would question traveling to Puerto Rico. Here are, 3 more reasons to do it.
1. Old San Juan
The colorful neighborhood paved with unique blue stones offers a myriad of restaurants, bars, and outdoor cafes amidst an area full of history and culture.
The right place for those into music and art. Santurce is covered with murals, bars, and cafes. Best for people traveling on a budget.
Home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, as well as the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge. Enjoy the beach while spotting semi-wild horses passing by.
November 8 – Puerto Rico to require vaccination from schoolchildren
Puerto Rico will require children aged 5 or older to get vaccinated to attend school, said the governor last week.
The coronavirus vaccine has just been approved for those aged between 5 and 11. There will be exceptions, of course. But the goal is to get at least 95% of this age group vaccinated.
The decision comes as Puerto Rico becomes the most vaccinated place in the whole of the U.S. and its territories. More than 80% of those aged 12 or older have received the full series of shots. Whereas 87% of 12-to 15-year-olds are already getting the vaccine.
September 24 – Puerto Rico removed from Chicago travel advisory list
Along with California, Puerto Rico has been removed from the Chicago travel advisory list. Therefore, travelers arriving from there are no longer recommended to get tested before and after their trip.
The states were taken off the list after daily new COVID-19 infections had dropped below 15 per 100,000 people for two consecutive weeks. On Tuesday, September 22, California reported 13.6 daily new cases, while Puerto Rico had only 9.4 daily new infections per 100,000 people.
At the moment, California and Puerto Rico are the only states which are not on the list, while Washington D.C. and Connecticut were added back to the travel advisory.
September 3 – CDC adds Puerto Rico to the ‘very high risk of COVID-19 list.’
On August 30, the CDC added 7 more countries to the ‘very high risk of COVID-19 list,’ including Puerto Rico. The CDC recommends avoiding visiting these countries, and anyone who must travel there should be fully vaccinated.
To help prevent the virus from spreading, Puerto Rico followed the announcement with further local restrictions. Since September 2, alcohol sales and drinking, celebrations, and public events are banned between midnight and 5 am.
A mask mandate had already been in place in all indoor spaces. But the new restrictions require face coverings also outside if there is a crowd of 50 people and more.
August 19 – Puerto Rico to ensure customers’ safety by requiring hospitality workers to be fully vaccinated from August 23
Puerto Rico is not taking any chances regarding the safety of its visitors. Starting August 23, all hospitality workers will be obligated to bear a vaccine certificate to be allowed in the work area.
The new Executive Order (EO-2021-063) includes “all theaters, cinemas, coliseums, convention centers, activities centers, restaurants, and places where food or drinks are served such as bars, kiosks, sport bars, fast foods, food courts, and cafeterias.”
So far, the government has not announced that tourists or customers will also need to comply with the rule.
August 11 – Puerto Rico to require COVID-19 vaccine for all hotel and short-term rentals
All guests of hotels and short-term rentals in Puerto Rico will have to be vaccinated starting on Monday, August 16.
Hotel employees, government contractors, and health care workers will also need to be vaccinated. Those who don’t comply with the measures will be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test every week.
Violators of the regulations can face up to USD$ 5,000 fine or six months in jail.