Puerto Rico will soon require that guests staying in paid accommodation across the island show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result. The new rule will come into effect on August 16 and will apply to hotels, guest houses and short-term rentals like Airbnb and Vrbo.
Beginning August 16, vaccinations will be required for both employees and guests of all hotels, paradores, guesthouses, and short-term rentals in Puerto Rico, the island's tourism board said. Those who aren't vaccinated must show a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 72 hours of arrival. If guests are staying for longer than a week, they must continue to present negative tests on a weekly basis. People who don't comply with the new rules could face a $5000 fine or six months in jail.
Puerto Rico recently removed its testing requirements for fully vaccinated American travelers and reduced local restrictions as a boost for tourism on the Caribbean island. But the Delta variant has been a game changer, leading to a rise in infections and prompting the government to double down on vaccination requirements as a first line of defense against the virus.
When flying to Puerto Rico, fully vaccinated American travelers must upload their COVID-19 vaccination card to Puerto Rico Health Department's online portal before boarding their flight. Once uploaded, they'll receive a QR code, which will be scanned when they arrive at the airport. Those who aren't vaccinated are required to show proof of a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 72 hours.
Other international travelers, regardless of their vaccination status, are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test too. The Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport offers PCR tests on-site for incoming and outgoing passengers for about $110 per test. According to Discover Puerto Rico, unvaccinated travelers have the option of receiving the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Terminal B of Luis Muñoz Marín airport too.
Across Puerto Rico, there are plenty of activities for tourists to enjoy now that the vaccination campaign is progressing. Public beaches and natural reserves are open, though visitors must follow local guidelines. Attractions and tours are open too, as well as museums, restaurants, cafes, bars, spas, pools and theaters.
Masks are required of everyone in all indoor public spaces. Those who are fully vaccinated do not have to wear masks in outdoor public areas but they're required of everyone else. The tourist board advises that local businesses have the ability to set rules and social distancing guidelines. That means that some may require a negative test result or proof of vaccination from patrons so always check entry requirements ahead of your visit.
Source: Lonely Planet