Puerto Rico, a popular travel destination for Americans during the pandemic, will implement new travel restrictions on its hospitality industry that will affect travelers.
In response to rising cases of the Delta variant, the U.S territory will implement proof of vaccination or mandatory testing in all hotels and accommodations.
These will include:
- Short-term rentals
- VRBO rentals
As a result, travelers will need to submit proof of vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours of arrival on the property. If travelers are staying over one week, they will need to present negative tests on a weekly basis.
Failure to adhere to these guidelines will lead to a 5,000 dollar fine or six months in jail, with very few exceptions, according to reports.
The Delta variant is causing havoc to the travel industry. It’s leading to continuous changes in travel restrictions around the world. The variant is causing daily changes in Europe as E.U countries ponder on how to handle the outbreak.
The Current Entry Restrictions
On the contrary, if travelers haven’t received their vaccination, they will need to show proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival. If not, travelers will face a 300 dollar fine.
However, on a more positive note, travelers can avoid the 300 dollar fine if they have a negative test within 48 hours of arrival in Puerto Rico. The country exempts travelers under the age of two from any of these restrictions.
The Reason For The New Restrictions
Reports suggest that the move is a response to the country’s rising cases of COVID-19. The transmission rate has increased from 1.4 percent in late June to 11 percent now.
In response, the CDC has issued a warning about Puerto Rico, stating it has a worrying high transmission level within the country. However, the USA does have a similar transmission rate as Peurto Rico anyway.
Puerto Rico will insist that all care workers, health facility workers, and government contractors will face the same restrictions and constant testing requirements going forward.
The Health Secretary of Puerto Rico also stated that “Puerto Rico can not lower its guard” and “There are vaccines for everyone. Vaccines are the solution.”
Over 78.4 percent of local residents have received a vaccination of an approved COVID-19 vaccine since the pandemic began.
The Current Restrictions Inside The Country
With many countries dropping COVID-19 restrictions inside the country, it’s important that travelers choose the best option before booking. Peurto Rico currently has low restrictions within the country, but remember, that can change at any time.
Travelers can currently enjoy all restaurants, cafes, bars, nightclubs, museums, and indoor attractions.
The government has made masks mandatory in all indoor spaces regardless of your vaccination status, which is different from the United States and the United Kingdom.
Puerto Rico still has social distancing measures in place. These include elevated sanitation protocols and limits on large gatherings. So there are restrictions, but they’re fewer restrictions than many nations around the world right now.
The Affect Of These Restrictions On Travel Inside The Country
If you travel to Puerto Rico with evidence of full vaccination, these new restrictions aren’t going to change a whole lot. Of course, you’ll have to provide proof of vaccination more often.
However, if you’re traveling to Puerto Rico as an unvaccinated traveler, these restrictions will become frustrating.
But that’s travel at the moment — restricted, constantly changing, and far more being back to normal.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com