Severity: Warning Alert

Exit/Entry: Puerto Rico extends 2200-05000 curfew through July 31 and reimposes restrictions on businesses and entertainment activities due to COVID-19.

  • Alert Begins: 17 Jul 2020 10:01 AM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 31 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Islandwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least July 31
  • Impact: Business and travel disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Puerto Rico will tighten restrictions on businesses and entertainment establishments July 17-31 to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The decision to impose stricter measures follows the reopening of Puerto Rico's borders to foreign travelers July 15. All individuals are required to wear a mask in public spaces. Businesses authorized to continue operating are required to enforce social distancing protocols for employees and customers, and, where appropriate, to serve only one person at a time by appointment only. As of July 17, the following previously announced and new restrictions are in place:

 

  • The 2200-0500 curfew will be in effect through at least July 31. People with medical emergencies and those providing essential services are exempt from the curfew.

 

  • In most cases, establishments such as restaurants, shops, and open-format malls may operate at 50-percent capacity. Outside queues are not permitted at establishments that require a reservation or appointment.

 

  • The sale of alcohol is prohibited after 1900 daily.

 

  • Establishments that encourage the gathering of groups of people, including discos, cinemas, concert halls, game rooms, theaters, casinos, gyms, and bars are not permitted to open.

 

  • Educational facilities are to remain closed.

 

  • Beaches are opened for exercise purposes only, and not recreational visits.

 

  • Maritime Transport Authority (ATM) services are for essential purposes only, and all marinas are to close.

 

  • Metropolitan Bus Authority (AMA) and Tren Urbano services are suspended; however, the Llame y Viaje program is still operational.

 


While the borders have been reopened to all travelers, arriving passengers will be subject to enhanced health screenings and protocols and are mandated to wear a protective face covering when arriving at the airport. Other requirements are being enforced:

 

  • Travelers are required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival.

 

  • Travelers without the required documentation will be tested at the airport and must remain in quarantine at the traveler's expense while awaiting results.

 

  • Travelers without the required documentation and who refuse to take a test will be subject to a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine at the traveler's expense.

 

  • Travelers who test positive for COVID-19 will be subject to a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine at the traveler's expense.

 


Business and transport disruptions are likely to persist, especially since internal restrictions have been tightened. All measures are constantly under review and subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
Several governments have implemented recovery plans to lift restrictive measures introduced in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) March 11. Should the number of COVID-19 cases significantly increase, previously relaxed restrictions may be reapplied. Likewise, a continued low number of cases may result in a further relaxation of restrictions and operating protocols.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Reconfirm all travel arrangements and business appointments. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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