Severity: Warning Alert

Exit/Entry: Authorities in Puerto Rico reopen borders to foreign travelers as of July 15. Enhanced screening and documentation requirements in place.

  • Alert Begins: 15 Jul 2020 12:08 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 22 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Islandwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business and travel disruptions

Summary
As of July 15, authorities have reopened Puerto Rico's borders to foreign travelers as part of the recovery plan to lift coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-related restrictions. All 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.

 


Some internal restrictions and operating protocols are still in place. Nonetheless, authorities have permitted most businesses, recreational facilities, and entertainment and event establishments to reopen outside the curfew, subject to operating protocols. As of July 15, the following measures are in place:

 

  • A 2200-0500 curfew will be in effect through at least July 22. People with medical emergencies and those providing essential services are exempt from the curfew.

 

  • Educational facilities are to remain closed through July 22.

 

  • All individuals are required to wear a mask in public spaces.

 

  • Businesses 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.

 

  • In most cases, establishments such as restaurants, casinos, and shops may operate at 75-percent capacity.

 


Lingering business and transport disruptions are likely even as restrictions are lifted and commercial activity resumes. 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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