Can Americans travel to Puerto Rico during the pandemic?

can americans travel to puerto rico
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  • Visitors ARE welcome to travel to the U.S. territory
  • The original reopening date in summer 2020 had to be postponed
  • Many attractions in Puerto Rico have limited capacity

As Puerto Rico climbs over 55,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and nearly 800 deaths, the U.S. territory’s borders remain open for tourism. Visitors are welcome as long as they comply with travel requirements, follow social distance guidelines, and wear masks in public. So, can Americans travel to Puerto Rico during the pandemic? The answer, for now, is yes.

After reopening plans for July were delayed due to a spike in cases, the island, which is home to 3.2 million people, opened to tourism on Sept. 12. Public beaches, nature reserves, casinos, gyms, and movie theatres are allowed to welcome guests as long as they observe social distancing and limited indoor capacity guidelines. 

Those entering Puerto Rico can only leave the airport if they complete a travel declaration form provided by the Puerto Rico Health Department and submit proof of a negative molecular COVID-19 test result, taken no more than 72 hours prior to travel departure time. In that way, Puerto Rico’s restrictions aren’t much different than the new guidelines in Hawaii. Travelers to Puerto Rico who fail to comply with these guidelines will be forced to quarantine for 14 days or until they can provide a negative test result. 

“If you don’t want to be tested, stay home. Don’t come here and complicate our situation,” said Puerto Rico Health Secretary Lorenzo González to the Associated Press.

Upon completing the guidelines above, travelers will receive an airport exit confirmation number and a QR code permitting them to leave the airport. From there, visitors will experience an island with many protective measures still in place. Malls, restaurants, retail stores, and museums must operate at 50% capacity, while an island-wide curfew from 10pm-5am remains in place until at least Oct. 16. Bars, cafes, and discos remain closed while hotel pools, theatres, and casinos are capped at 25% capacity. 

Many hotels are open on the island with increased COVID-19 precautions. For example, the Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico requires temperature checks and social distance measures and has installed UV light purifying air conditioners in all rooms. 

Read more on traveling during the pandemic:

Sources: New York Times, Discover Puerto Rico, Afar.com 

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