Puerto Rico takes tougher stance against tourists ignoring COVID-19 rules
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
The island has seen a resurgence in tourism recently, mostly from the U.S. mainland, which is a boon to the local economy. But that influx of visitors has led to an alarming increase in violent incidents with tourists who refuse to wear masks.
Sign up to receive the daily TPG newsletter for more travel news!
Since mid-March, extra police patrols have been assigned to popular tourist areas such as Old San Juan, Condado and Santurce and enforce the island’s midnight curfew. Since the new measures were enacted, 27 arrests have been made in those so-called “tourist zones” for disorderly conduct and drug possession.
Some of the incidents that led to the new enforcement gained national attention. In one February encounter, a tourist threw a drink in the face of a woman in a wheelchair who asked that the tourists wear their masks.
Now, police are taking a stricter stance to get tourists to comply with restrictions. For example, they are reminding tourists of the island’s midnight to 5 a.m. curfew. Additionally, those who refuse to wear masks can be fined $100.
An overwhelming number of visitors to Puerto Rico so far in 2021 have come from the U.S. Of the nearly 12,000 flights to land on the island this year, 82% have arrived from the States.
Additionally, the island is gearing up for a rush of spring breakers coming from the mainland U.S. More than 3,500 officers will be stationed around tourist areas and the National Guard will station around 1,100 active soldiers around the island who will be tasked with enforcing the mask and curfew orders.
Puerto Rico officials put in place a series of guidelines for travelers to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you’re planning to visit, all visitors to the island have to fill out a Travel Declaration Form through Puerto Rico’s Health Department portal.
Travelers also have to get a PCR molecular COVID-19 test (nasal or throat swab) no more than 72 hours prior to their trip and show proof of a negative result. Otherwise, quarantine is required. A rapid test will not be accepted.
Because Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, it’s excluded from the CDC requirement to provide a negative COVID-19 test result to return to the mainland, though entry guidelines can vary from state to state.
Featured image by: Martin Wheeler / EyeEm.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees