Is It Safe to Travel to Puerto Rico Right Now in 2021? – September Update

Puerto-Rico-Safe-to-Travel

Puerto Rican government surpassed the goal of having 70% percent of its eligible adults at least partly vaccinated, which makes the country a fairly safe place to visit. 

On top of that, from August 16, all hotel and short-term rental visitors have to be vaccinated. (Info below)

The milestone came as the U.S. mainland struggles with a rapid spread of the highly contagious Delta variant among the unvaccinated.

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How safe is to visit Puerto Rico now – Latest Updates

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.

Source: Travel and Leisure

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.

Source: CNN, Insider

FAQs:

  • Do you have to quarantine if you go to Puerto Rico?

    No, you don't have to quarantine when you travel to Puerto Rico but vaccination or test is required for entry.

  • Do I need a test to travel to Puerto Rico?

    Yes, you need a test to travel to Puerto Rico or proof of vaccination.

  • Are the beaches open in Puerto Rico?

    Yes, all the beaches are open in Puerto Rico at the moment.

Puerto Rico’s Health Care System and Response Capacity

Puerto Rico Safe to Visit - Covid

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently ranks the island at level 4 (very high 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

Entry requirements 

  • 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 72 hours prior to arrival. Those arriving without a test will face a USD 300 fine.

Vaccination progress in Puerto Rico

As of September 2, 2,199,238 Puerto Ricans have received two full series of a vaccine against the virus.

Why visit Puerto Rico in COVID-19 times 

Puerto Rico safe to visit

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.

2. Santurce

The right place for those into music and art. Santurce is covered with murals, bars, and cafes. Best for people traveling on a budget. 

3. Vieques

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.

Updates archives

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.

Source: The National Law Review

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.

Source: USA Today

August 3 – Puerto Rico managed to vaccinate 75.6% of its population as August 3

Puerto Rico hit the 70% vaccination goal and even surpassed it by 5.6% on August 3, according to a report from the Department of Health (DS).

The DS also added that 66.2% of eligible people have already received two full series of a vaccine against COVID-19.

As of today, only 195 people are hospitalized. 24 of them, in critical condition. 

Source: Swiss Info