Puerto Rico’s vaccine and testing requirements: what travelers need to know

In May, Puerto Rico relaxed many of its COVID-19 restrictions for travelers. But now, with the Delta variant raging and numbers increasing, the country is doubling down on security measures. From this month, hotel and short-term rental employees as well as guests will be required to show proof of vaccination or negative PCR test.

On August 16, anyone staying or working in such accommodations, including Airbnb and VRBO properties, who are not already vaccinated will be required to test negative weekly, according to Discover Puerto Rico. However, if you are vaccinated this will not apply. It’s all part of the country’s push to vaccinate.

“We cannot let our guard down” Governor Pedro Pierluisi said at a press conference. “There are vaccines for everyone. Vaccines are the solution.”

Vaccinated domestic travelers can simply upload their vaccination cards to the island’s travel declaration form portal, while those who are not vaccinated will be required to submit a negative PCR or antigen test performed within 72 hours of arrival and submitted within 48 hours of arrival. Say you don’t comply? You could face a fine of $ 300, the tourist office said. So yeah, you’re gonna want to follow the rules.

While Puerto Rico also has pre-departure testing requirements, American travelers are exempt because it is a territory. The country also remains vigilant in its mask mandates. All individuals, vaccinated or not, are required to wear a face cover indoors.

According to Travel and leisurePuerto Rico is currently experiencing a “high” level of community transmission with a test positivity rate of 10% to 14.9% over an average of seven days. Twenty percent of current hospitalizations also involve those who have, in fact, received both doses of the vaccine.

Megan Schaltegger is a writer for Thrillist.

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