You Can Now Travel to Puerto Rico – Here’s All You Need to Know
We take a look at all you’ll need to know if you’re planning a trip to the sunny Caribbean island in the current environment.
Puerto Rico is opening for travellers, with a number of changes to the country’s COVID-19 travel guidelines that went into effect at the end of May. As of Monday 24th May, the Government has lifted all local curfews and as of Friday 28th May, all domestic travellers can upload their COVID-19 vaccination card and not worry about a negative PCR test before entering the island. People who are not vaccinated or arrive from other countries will be allowed to travel to Puerto Rico as long as you can provide a negative PCR test or a rapid antigen test.
Brad Dean, the CEO of Discover Puerto Rico has commented: “Puerto Rico has prioritized health and safety from the onset of the pandemic, becoming the first US destination to implement an Island-wide curfew, among other measures developed to safeguard residents and visitors.” He continued: “As restrictions loosen, we look forward to welcoming travellers 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 US territory, including no need for a passport for US citizens.”
People who are fully vaccinated – and it has been at least two weeks since their final dose – will need to fill out a travel health declaration where they’ll need to upload their COVID-19 vaccination card to the Puerto Rico Health Department’s online portal. Once completed, they’ll receive a QR code that would allow them to leave the airport.
People who are not vaccinated will still need to fill out the travel health declaration and upload their negative PCR test results (the test needs to be taken within 72 hours before their flight). Those who are still waiting for their test results can choose to upload their test results later, however, they will automatically be fined $300 if the results are not uploaded within 48 hours of their arrival in Puerto Rico, which will also include quarantining until you have your test results back.
Some things to be aware of are that although some restrictions have been lifted, bars and nightclubs in the country remain closed. Reservations might be needed for local attractions and spas, while all restaurants, malls, theatres and casinos are limited to 50% capacity and a negative PCR or antigen test results may be required before entering.
Before planning a trip to the island, please be aware that The Centre for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) still lists Puerto Rico at “Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19”, advising potential visitors to be fully vaccinated before entering the country and to follow local recommendations, practice social distancing and wear a mask during their stay. The CDC also suggests that all travellers who are not vaccinated should get tested within 72 hours before their trip and within 72 – 120 hours after their trip, asking them to also stay at home for seven days or up to 10 days if they don’t plan to get tested.