Puerto Rico has reinstated both its indoor mask mandate and curfew on businesses as the Delta variant continues to cause huge spikes in infection rates.
The new rules came into effect on Thursday September 2, requiring businesses to close between midnight and 5am, seven days a week. Twenty-four-hour pharmacies can remain open, and restaurants in hotels can operate during these hours too. The updated rules also require masks to be worn in all indoor and enclosed spaces, and any outdoor spaces where there is a gathering of more than 50 people. This applies to everyone, regardless of their vaccination status.
The latest executive order builds upon existing health and safety measures designed to manage the pandemic and keep people safe. Since August 16, Puerto Rico has required that guests staying in paid accommodation across the island such as hotels, guest houses, paradores and short-term rentals like Airbnb and Vrbo, show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of arrival.
If guests are staying for longer than seven days, they must continue to present negative tests on a weekly basis. People who don’t comply with the new rules could face a $5000 fine or six months in jail.
Patrons are required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to dine or drink indoors © Getty Images
The US territory is also seeking proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result from patrons who wish to dine or drink indoors. That rule also came into effect in August, and applies to restaurants, bars or other enclosed places that serve food or drinks. Anyone who wishes to visit other enclosed public spaces such as museums, theaters and convention centers must also present proof of vaccination or a negative test result.
Businesses who don’t check customers COVID-19 status at the door, must reduce their indoor capacity to 50%.
Read more: When is the best time to visit Puerto Rico?
Guests and employees have to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result ©mikolajn/Shutterstock
Puerto Rico removed its testing requirements for fully vaccinated American travelers back in May and reduced local restrictions as a boost for tourism on the Caribbean island. But the Delta variant has been a game changer, leading to a rise in infections and prompting the government to double down on vaccination requirements as a first line of defense against the virus.
When flying to Puerto Rico, fully vaccinated American travelers must upload their COVID-19 vaccination card to Puerto Rico Health Department’s online portal before boarding their flight. Once uploaded, they’ll receive a QR code, which will be scanned when they arrive at the airport. Those who aren’t vaccinated are required to show proof of a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 72 hours.
Read more: Top 12 beaches in Puerto Rico
Other international travelers, regardless of their vaccination status, are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test too. The Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport offers PCR tests on-site for incoming and outgoing passengers for about $110 per test. According to Discover Puerto Rico, unvaccinated travelers have the option of receiving the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Terminal B of Luis Muñoz Marín airport too.
All travelers, regardless of where they are coming from, must fill in the Traveler Declaration Form.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently lists Puerto Rico at Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19, recommending that visitors avoid non-essential travel to Puerto Rico.
For more information on Puerto Rico’s travel guidelines, see here.
This article was first published on June 22, 2020 and last updated on September 3, 2021.
You might also like:
The post What to know about Puerto Rico’s latest rules as curfew and mask mandate are reinstated
appeared first on Lonely Planet Travel News.