Vaccinated travelers no longer need to have a COVID-19 test for entry into Puerto Rico

May 21, 2021

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In recent weeks, some rules have been relaxed for the fully vaccinated. Now, fully vaccinated people can avoid wearing a mask in most indoor and outdoor settings. Some requirements have also been loosened for travel.

Puerto Rico announced on May 21 that fully vaccinated U.S. travelers would no longer have to show a negative COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival, starting May 25. Puerto Rico also raised capacity at businesses to 50%, removed a mask requirement for fully vaccinated individuals in parks and beaches and reopened coliseums. All attendees at coliseums are required to present either a COVID-19 vaccine card or a negative antigen test.

“As restrictions loosen, we look forward to welcoming travelers 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 U.S. territory, including no need for a passport for U.S. citizens,” said Brad Dean, the CEO of Discover Puerto Rico, in a statement.

Puerto Rico officials put in place a series of guidelines for travelers to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Visitors to the island have to fill out a Travel Declaration Form through Puerto Rico’s Health Department portal. Travelers (other than those outlined above) also have to have a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to their trip, otherwise, quarantine is required. A rapid test will not be accepted. Now, these rules have been loosened for fully vaccinated travelers.

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.

The reopening comes weeks after authorities cracked down on aggressive tourists who flouted the island’s requirements to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Puerto Rico 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. Extra police patrols were assigned to popular tourist areas such as Old San Juan, Condado and Santurce to enforce the island’s midnight curfew, with dozens arrested.

While new cases and hospitalizations are down, according to a New York Times tracker, deaths are up on the island, in comparison to a decrease in March. Puerto Rico has reported over 137,000 positive cases and nearly 2,500 deaths to date. 31% of Puerto Ricans have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the Times’ data.

Featured photo by Jamie Oppenheim/The Points Guy

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