April 4 – New restrictions due massive tourism to the Island
Data from the Puerto Rico’s Health Department shows that only 30% of the U.S. travelers bring the mandatory negative COVID-19 test result. These visitors must quarantine for 14 days instead. But due to the logistic impossibility to exercise control over tourists’ self-isolation, Gov, Pedro Rafael Pierluisi has decided to keep most of the measures implemented by former Governor Vázquez, including limiting capacity at restaurants, museums, and gyms.
Also a state-wide curfew from 12:00 am to 5 am will be enforced until April 11.
More than a dozen visitors who were caught violating the COVID-19 related restrictions were arrested over the last week, according to AP.
As of march 15, the Puerto Rican government has vaccinated 750,000 people. According to local media, 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.
New Travel Ban
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:
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)
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.
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 December 3, the Center for Disease and Control (CDC) has issued a Level 4 risk, meaning there is a very high level of virus transmission in Puerto Rico.
Most businesses and tourist places remain open to the public with some restrictions and at a reduced capacity. Here is a list of the places tourists can visit.
Recreational boat use (while exercising social distancing)
Hair salons and barbershops (appointment only)
Spa and wellness centers (with the exception of sauna facilities)
Urban train system
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.