Puerto Rico Reopens Again With Strict COVID-19 Restrictions

Serene beaches

For now, Puerto Rico is allowing only essential travel. However, after easing the restrictions after summer there was a spike in coronavirus cases.

However, from December 7, 10 pm to 5 am there will be a nightly curfew and a 24-hour lockdown on Sunday. This will be in effect through January 7.

Public beaches are closed for everyone. Only those going for exercise can visit the beach. Whereas restaurants, casinos, gyms, and museums are operating on a limited capacity of 30%. Bars and clubs remain closed.

As of December 11, there have been 93,073 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,238 resulting deaths in Puerto Rico.

People traveling to Puerto Rico must follow all the necessary requirements. That includes wearing face masks in public. Most importantly, following government-mandated social-distancing efforts.

Essential Travel Only

However, individuals traveling for tourism purposes, including sightseeing, recreation, or attending cultural events, do not fall within the definition of “essential travel,” according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

But, Puerto Rico has never closed its borders to U.S. citizens. Also, foreign nationals who hadn’t been in China, Iran, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Ireland, or the European Schengen area in the previous 14 days. 

Requirements to Enter the Country

Traveler must complete a travel declaration form provided by the Puerto Rico Health Department. Moreover, any traveler over the age of two will show proof of negative molecular tests (nasal or throat swabs) from 72 hours prior.

However, the government will not accept any other type of test, including the antibody ones that require a finger stick or blood drawn. Travelers will also receive an airport exit confirmation number and QR code when uploading their molecular test results to the Puerto Rico Health Department’s online portal.

Travelers who fail to show test results, refuse to submit to testing upon arrival. Or test positive will have to quarantine for 14 days. Moreover, all the medical and the expense of stay expenses will be covered by the travelers.

However, once the travelers have completed the quarantine requirement they will have to undergo a molecular test and share the negative results with the government.

“If you don’t want to be tested, stay home. Don’t come here and complicate our situation,” said health secretary Lorenzo González.

However, those who can produce negative test results upon arrival will be allowed into Puerto Rico. But they will need to follow the local rules of the government. That includes wearing face masks when in public or pay fines. Social distancing is being enforced by limiting capacity at restaurants, museums, and hotel pools.

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