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Puerto Rico to Open for Tourism – With Precautions

Puerto Rico plans to allow tourists to visit again beginning on July 15. However, there are still some restrictions in place as the Island opens up from pandemic shut down. Puerto Rico has had 8,745 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of this writing, and continues to have small numbers of new cases and fatalities.

Accordingly, travelers arriving in Puerto Rico from July 15th on will have to do two things:

  • Fill out a traveler’s declaration
  • Present a COVID-19 negative result from a qualified SARS-CoV2 molecular test conducted within 72 hours prior to arrival

Traveler’s declaration

The traveler’s declaration is a form from the Department of Health. It asks about COVID-19 symptoms, possible contact with infected persons, and travel history.

The form can be downloaded from the link in the previous paragraph. However, it also includes current temperature, which will be taken at the airport, and the signature of airport personnel recording the answers.

Visitors should plan for some extra time at the airport to meet this requirement.

COVID-19 test result

Visitors must also present a negative COVID-19 test from the preceding 72 hours. For many visitors from the States, this will simply be a matter of scheduling a test with their doctor before they travel.

Test results have been taking longer than normal to come back from the lab in many parts of the country due to increased testing, which may complicate travel plans.

Anyone who cannot present evidence of a negative test will have to remain in quarantine for 14 days at the destination listed in their traveler’s destination.

The quarantine is complete; no visitors will be allowed, including family members, and the quarantined person will not be allowed to go to any public places. Health care professionals will be allowed to check on the individual and provide care if necessary.

Anyone who does not comply with the quarantine will face legal consequences:

  • jail time of as much as six months
  • a fine of as much as $5,000
  • both penalties at the discretion of the court

The law specifies that any costs, including the expense of extra time spent on the Island, is the responsibility of the traveler.

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