Island to lift many COVID-19 requirements
Puerto Rico this week is dropping nearly all travel-related COVID-19 restrictions for domestic travelers from the U.S….
Puerto Rico this week is dropping nearly all travel-related COVID-19 restrictions for domestic travelers from the U.S. as case counts on the island continue to fall.
Starting Thursday, domestic visitors from the U.S. will no longer need to show proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test to enter.
Masks will no longer be required in indoor or outdoor venues, with some exceptions, Governor Pedro Pierluisi announced Monday. Certain areas, such as health facilities, will still require face coverings.
Officials recommend that people continue to wear masks indoors when the vaccination status of others is unknown. Travelers will also still need to wear a mask on the plane ride to Puerto Rico because the U.S. federal mask mandate is in effect until at least March 18.
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Puerto Rico is also lifting all capacity restrictions. Currently, certain indoor venues like restaurants, bars, theaters and stadiums must cap capacity at 75%. The Health Department will continue to issue special protocols for events with more than 1,000 attendees.
Additionally, businesses like restaurants and bars will no longer need to screen customers for proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test before allowing entry.
“Individual establishments reserve the right to implement their own requirements surrounding masks and COVID-19 protocols, and visitors are encouraged to contact businesses directly,” reads a statement from the destination marketing organization Discover Puerto Rico.
Travelers will no longer need to fill out a travel declaration form – which included information on their vaccination status or coronavirus test results – before exiting the airport in Puerto Rico. Airports will continue to offer centers for voluntary coronavirus testing.
Most travelers entering from outside the U.S. will still need to show proof of vaccination to enter the U.S. territory.
Reported COVID-19 cases in Puerto Rico have been declining since early January, and the island is now reporting a seven-day average of fewer than 250 cases a day – a fraction of the 10,000-plus reported at the beginning of the year, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz.