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Puerto Rico Tightens Entry Requirements For American Tourists

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Puerto Rico Tightens Its Entry Requirements 

Puerto Rico—one of the most popular destinations for U.S tourists—has tightened its entry requirements following the Omicron outbreak. Until now, Puerto Rico hadn’t changed its entry requirements since Omicron emerged.

The new restrictions will start just after Christmas day.

Beautiful Puerto Rico Coastline

The New Restrictions In Full 

Starting December 27, all passengers arriving in Puerto Rico via domestic flights must show a negative COVID-19 test taken 48 hours prior to departure regardless of their vaccination status. Otherwise, travelers will have to take a test on arrival and be subject to fines.

Unvaccinated travelers must quarantine for 7 days on arrival regardless of whether they provide a positive or negative COVID-19 test. Puerto Rico requires all vaccinated travelers to upload an official vaccination card through the Travel Declaration Form portal. 

puerto rico

Also, Puerto Rico will require all establishments serving food and drink—such as restaurants and bars—to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken 48 hours prior to arrival starting December 27.  

Puerto Rico officials also that those between the ages of 5 and 11 years old can attend large outdoor events by providing negative COVID-19 tests taken 48 hours prior to arrival throughout January. 

However, starting February 1, 2022, those between 5 and 11 years old will be subject to the same guidelines as adults. Therefore, they will need proof of vaccination or proof of a negative test taken 48 hours prior to arrival to enter large outdoor events. 

Colorful house facades along a street in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Travelers Arriving On International Flights

The rules for tourists arriving on international flights are slightly different. From December 6, all tourists arriving on international flights must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken one day prior to departure along with proof of vaccination. 

Non-U.S. citizens and long-term residents will need to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before traveling by air to the United States from a foreign country.

Puerto Rico Scenery

The New Restrictions Within The Island: What You Should Know 

Mask Usage 

  • Puerto Rico requires all travelers—regardless of their vaccination status—to wear masks in indoor places. Unvaccinated people between 2 and 11 must wear masks in public areas, including outdoor areas, when social distancing isn’t possible. 
  • Ferries operating to and from Culebra and Vieques require passengers to wear masks for the duration of the journey 

Beaches 

  • All public beaches remain open despite the increase in restrictions; however, travelers should follow social distancing guidelines on all beaches. 
Tropical Beach in Puerto Rico

Restaurants 

  • From December 27, all establishments serving food and drink will require citizens and tourists to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test 48 hours prior to arrival 

Businesses And Other Establishments 

  • Most businesses in Puerto Rico require all travelers to wear masks regardless of vaccination status 
  • Some businesses will require proof of a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination upon arrival, depending on the business 

Events 

  • From December 22, everyone attending mass events in Puerto Rico must provide proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test taken 48 hours prior to arrival. This includes mass events taking place at theaters, coliseums, stadiums, convention centers, and amphitheaters. 
Puerto Rico Flag

The Current COVID-19 Situation In Puerto Rico

Cases have skyrocketed in Puerto Rico thanks to the Omicron variant. The current 7-day case average is 5,712; that’s more than double the 7-day case average of any time during the pandemic.

Puerto Rico has a high vaccination rate with 5.84 million vaccine doses given and 76.6% of the population fully vaccinated.

Three people walking on a path at El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico. El Yunque is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest system

Read More:

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Traveler Alert: Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Next Trip!

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com


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Dean Dietrich

Sunday 2nd of January 2022

We are planning to sail on our boat to Culebra and Vieques from St. Thomas in March. Does anyone know the status of those islands? We are all vaccinated.

Anita

Monday 27th of December 2021

This is the next level of controling Puerto Ricans only way of making money, Tourism. Fear-mongering is the oldest play in the book. It is part of the planned division of people and family. My whole family got covid-19, and none of us went to the hospital nor died. All over the counter medicine and natural foods, and plenty of hydration. Their should be a rule for people that got it already and survived, because we have the right anti'bodies to fight it.

Evelyn DLC

Sunday 26th of December 2021

Good for all the restrictions for people traveling to Puerto Rico. This goes both ways ... we still have people in PR that do not believe in the vaccine. Tough luck for them.We all know that getting the vaccine does not exclude you from Covid.You'll get it but you probaly wont die from it unless you already have a medical condition. Now, what about Cruises ? I saw one at the port yesterday and another one arriving. If Covid numbers are so high, we do not need cruises coming in. They can bring more Covid cases or get Covid from the island and infect many people on the cruise .This is getting crazy !!!

Mario Guindin

Saturday 25th of December 2021

If that's the case then all the folks coming from Puerto Rico need to have a test within 24 hours of entering the USA!!no exceptions!!

Sean Cushman

Sunday 26th of December 2021

@Shirliana Glassberg, No it is not dangerous. It's a very mild strain for Christ sakes do some research before you start fear mongering. Protect the vulnerable and the rest of the population needs to carry on life as normal. Early treatment is needed for the previous strains but this new strain seems to be very mild like a cold. Consult your trusted healthcare provider if you become Ill 🤧.

Joseph

Sunday 26th of December 2021

@Jennifer,

Maybe the US govt did support and now everything's sitting in warehouses. I mean, wouldn't be the first time.

Eddie

Sunday 26th of December 2021

@Jennifer, please describe no support!

Jennifer

Saturday 25th of December 2021

@Lee Cosme, This island has gotten no support from the US government during this pandemic they are doing everything that they can to protect themselves. Even though the island is a commonwealth of the United States their are treated as the bastard child. So don’t be so butt hurt with the new rules. #PuertoRicanstrong. 🇵🇷

Lee Cosme

Saturday 25th of December 2021

I encourage all travelers to boycott this island. And spend not one penny.

Lucinda

Saturday 25th of December 2021

My entire family was going in 2022 for a reunion and we canceled because of this.