Puerto Rico is open for tourism and lifted capacity & mask restrictions from July 5

Puerto Rico - Reopening for tourism
Puerto Rico - Reopening for tourism

Puerto Rico is open for tourism with a few entry restrictions. Travelers need to bring a negative PCR test or provide a vaccination certificate, otherwise, they will have to quarantine and – possibly – face a fine. 

The territory is the first U.S. tourist destination to receive the “Safe Travel Stamp” from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), due to its biosafety measures.

Related
Is Hawaii open for tourism?
Is Cuba open for tourism?

Puerto Rico Reopening – Latest Updates

Puerto Rico - Reopening for tourism

July 6 – Puerto Rico lifted capacity restrictions and mask wearing mandates from July 5

Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi announced that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear face masks in outdoor settings. Also, capacity restrictions for businesses were lifted on July 5. 

Additionally, health restrictions were also lifted for sport activities. 

“It is permitted to celebrate all sports and recreational activities, without having any limitation or restriction with regard to health measures. Likewise, restrictions on the ability of the public in sports and recreational facilities have been abolished,” said the Minister for Sports and Recreation (DRD), Ray Quiñones Vázquez.

Source: AP

June 16 – Puerto Rico eased domestic COVID-19 related restrictions from June 7 to July 4

Puerto Rico Governor Hon. Pedro Pierluisi eased domestic restrictions across the island, according to Executive Order (EO) 2021-043. The new set of rules will be enforced through July 4.

The order expands the maximum capacity limits for businesses, and eases mask requirements for fully vaccinated locals and visitors. Mask-wearing requirements continue to apply in most indoor places. 

Indoor theaters, bars, coliseums, and convention centers can now operate at 50% and restaurants at 75% capacity.

Unvaccinated mainland travelers still need to provide proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to departure.

Visitors arriving without a negative COVID-19 certificate will be subjected to a diagnostic test upon arrival, a 48-hour quarantine as well as a USD 300-dollar fine.

(Source)

May 24: Puerto Rico to accept a vaccine certificate instead of a negative COVID-19 test.

Last Friday, Puerto Rican officials announced that U.S. vaccinated travelers will no longer need to bring proof of a negative COVID-19 test if those visitors can produce a vaccine certificate issued, at least, 14 days before traveling to the island. 

Brad Dean, the CEO of Discover Puerto Rico stated that “as restrictions loosen, we look forward to welcoming travelers seeking to responsibly explore our Island, immerse themselves in unforgettable culture, unique natural wonders and delicious cuisine, while taking advantage of the ease of travel that comes with Puerto Rico being a U.S. territory, including no need for a passport for U.S. citizens.”

As well as other U.S. States, Puerto Rico has also lifted other COVID-19 restrictions over the last few weeks. As of today, fully vaccinated travelers are allowed not to wear a mask in most outdoor and indoor settings. (Source: prnewswire.com)

May 6 – Puerto to issue USD $330 fines to Travelers showing up without a negative COVID-19 test

As any other state of the United States, the Puerto Rican government has the power to enforce any types of COVID-19 restrictions they consider necessary to contain the pandemic inside its soil. 

Tired of Americans landing in Puerto Rico without a negative test, refusing to take one at the airport, and not compelling with the mandatory mask mandate, Governor Pedro Pierluisi has decided to impose a $300 fine to those travelers who want to ignore the law and the difficult epidemiology situation the island is going through. 

Additionally, Pierluisi extended the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly curfew through, at least, until May 9 and reduced capacity at pools, restaurants, museums, and gyms from 50% to 30%.

(Source)

Vaccination progress in Puerto Rico

Locals are flocking hospitals, schools and other government-designated facilities to get the vaccine against COVID-19 and they are doing it faster and better than other U.S. territories and states. 

The Puerto Rico Department of Health’s vaccination program, Dr. Iris Cardona has said that part of the success is because of the great help coming from the National Guard that has been absolutely committed in coordinating the vaccination logistics.

Banned countries

In order to prevent new strains of COVID-19 from spreading in US territories, there is a travel ban in effect for visitors coming from these countries:

  • China
  • Iran
  • European Schengen area (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City)
  • UK (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland)
  • Ireland
  • Brazil
  • India

Is Puerto Rico open for Americans?

Puerto Rico is part of the American soil, therefore, it is open for all Americans. The CDC requirement to get a negative COVID-19 to get back home is not mandatory because it is considering a domestic trip. 

Can Americans who recently got vaccinated bypass the COVID-19 test requirement?

Unfortunately, the Island is not offering that option at the moment. Even vaccinated American tourists are compelled to bring a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure.  

Puerto Rico entry restrictions

  • First, visitors will need to complete a Travel Declaration Form online (either in English or Spanish). If they fail to do so, there is still the possibility to do it at the airport, but there may be delays or other complications.
  • Travelers will need to bring negative COVID-19 test results (carried out through nasal or throat swab) no older than 72 hours at the moment of landing. There is limited testing on the island so it is highly recommended to take a test before traveling. These are some official testing sites in the US.
  • Once visitors upload their test results to their Travel Declaration Form online (links above) they will receive an Airport Exit Confirmation Number and QR code. Without these two travelers won’t be allowed to leave the airport.

Click here for further information.

Street in Puerto Rico

Is quarantine mandatory in Puerto Rico? 

Visitors may need to undertake at least a 48-hour quarantine if they arrive on the island without having uploaded proof of a negative molecular test result to the Puerto Rico Health Department’s online portal.

What type of COVID-19 test is required to enter Puerto Rico?

Visitors must bring a molecular COVID-19 test (nasal or throat swab). Find testing places on the mainland here

Is Puerto Rico safe now?

Recent reports have included Puerto Rico among the list of US territories suffering a high increase COVID-19 case count after reopening the territory for a second time. As of June 15, the Center for Disease and Control (CDC) has issued a Level 3 risk, meaning there is a high level of virus transmission in Puerto Rico.

Read our full post on: Is it safe to visit Puerto Rico during COVID?

Local restrictions in Puerto Rico

Beach in Puerto Rico

Most businesses and tourist places remain open to the public with restrictions such as reduced capacity. Here is a list of the places tourists can visit.

For leisure

  • Beaches
  • Natural reserves
  • Museums
  • Theaters
  • Casinos
  • Hotel pools
  • Marinas
  • Recreational boat use (while exercising social distancing)
  • Malls
  • Retail stores
  • Restaurants

Other services

  • Supermarkets
  • Pharmacies
  • Gas stations
  • Hair salons and barbershops (appointment only)
  • Spa and wellness centers (with the exception of sauna facilities)
  • Gyms

Transportation

  • Buses
  • Urban train system
  • Taxi 
  • Ferry (but only for residents)

Bars, cafés, and nightclubs remain closed as of today.  Also, group activities and sports are still banned in public or private venues. Guided tours reopened, visitors should contact the agencies to confirm availability.

Visit their travel advisory website for more information and updates.

Is wearing a mask obligatory in Puerto Rico?

Only unvaccinated people should wear a mask indoors and outdoors if social distancing is not possible. The only exception being when they are consuming food or engaging in aquatic activities.

Current COVID-19 situation in Puerto Rico

As of July 6, Puerto Rico has reported 173,916 COVID cases and 2,552 confirmed deaths caused by the virus. (Source: NYTimes)

COVID-19 cases in Puerto Rico

According to Puerto Rican authorities, all hospitals on the Island are available to admit and treat patients experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.