Sorry travelers, Puerto Rico has postponed its reopening plans

Jul 21, 2020

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Puerto Rico officially began welcoming back tourists on July 15, but amid rising cases of the novel coronavirus in the mainland U.S., it has postponed some of those plans. Puerto Rico is now encouraging “essential travel” only.

“Puerto Rico is encouraging only essential travel at this time and has postponed its official inbound tourism reopening to safeguard visitors and residents,” according to Discover Puerto Rico.

The island will conduct a “continuous assessment” of cases in the United States and Puerto Rico, according to the tourism board. Puerto Rico has reported over 12,000 positive cases of the virus, with 180 deaths.

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If you do travel to the island, don’t expect a typical trip. Non-essential businesses, like theaters, casinos, bars, clubs, attractions, and gyms are closed. Restaurants and museums are operating at 50% percent capacity and malls remain open, according to Discover Puerto Rico. Alcohol sales are also banned after 7 PM and on Sundays.

Travelers are required to fill out a Travel Declaration Form, get a molecular COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before arrival and show proof of a negative result. Beaches are only open to those doing solo sports or exercise. A curfew on the island is in effect through the end of the month between 10 – 5 AM. Finally, mask-wearing is mandatory when in public, or you could face a fine.

Castillo San Felipe del Morro in Old San Juan (Discover Puerto Rico)
Castillo San Felipe del Morro in Old San Juan (Discover Puerto Rico)

Puerto Rico isn’t the only place rolling up the welcome mat, either. Just yesterday, the Bahamas announced that it would ban U.S. travelers from entering its borders by plane or vessel effective July 22. This is a reversal from a July 1 policy that lifted an international travel ban from March and officially reopened to tourists.

Minnis said there were 41 new cases of the virus since the country reopened its borders.

“Regrettably, the situation here at home has already deteriorated since we began the reopening of our domestic economy,” Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said on Sunday. “It has deteriorated at an exponential rate since we reopened our international borders.”

Related: American tourists are officially banned from the Bahamas

Commercial flights and vessels from Canada, the United Kingdom, and European Union countries will still be welcome, according to the Ministry of Tourism. Additionally, U.S. citizens with their own private jets or vessels will still be allowed to enter the country.

The Bahamas also confirmed on Tuesday that it would bar entry to U.S. citizens seeking to circumvent the rules by attempting to connect in another country, like Canada.

Featured photo by Maremagnum/Getty Images

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