Summary
Authorities in Puerto Rico have extended the existing daily 2200-0500 curfew until at least Nov. 13, but will slightly ease business capacity limits as of Oct. 17, as part of the island's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response and recovery plan. During the 2200-0500 curfew, all persons, except those providing essential services or attending to a medical emergency, must remain in their homes.

As of Oct. 17, capacity limits on commercial and other activities have generally been increased by 5 percent. The following previously announced and revised measures are in place:

 

  • Restaurants may operate at 55-percent capacity. There are no occupancy limits for outdoor dining.
  • Places of worship approved to hold services must adhere to sanitary protocols and operate at no more than 55-percent capacity.
  • Gyms, swimming pools, cinemas, casinos, recreational areas, and hotel common areas may reopen and operate at 30-percent capacity.
  • All employers must report any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 among their employees to the Department of Health.
  • The sale and public consumption of alcohol is permitted until 2200 daily.
  • Beaches are permitted to reopen for recreational use. Marinas may also reopen for navigating between ports, but docking is prohibited.
  • Discotheques, bars, and cafes are to remain closed.
  • All indoor and outdoor mass group activities remain prohibited, including parades, caravans, and similar activities.
  • Maritime transport for tourists is permitted to and from Culebra Island only.
  • Effective Oct. 26, public transport services, including the Metropolitan Bus Authority and Tren Urbano, will resume.

 


While the borders have reopened to all travelers, arriving passengers must wear a protective face covering and will be subject to enhanced health screenings and protocols. Authorities are also enforcing the following requirements:

 

  • Travelers are required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival.
  • Travelers without the required documentation will be tested at the airport and must remain in quarantine at their own expense while awaiting results.
  • Travelers without the necessary documentation and who refuse to take a test will be subject to a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine at their own expense.
  • Travelers who test positive for COVID-19 will be subject to a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine at their own expense.

 


Business and transport disruptions are likely to persist as businesses reopen. All measures are always 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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