Naguabo offers some of the most pristine beaches in Puerto Rico.
Naguabo offers some of the most pristine beaches in Puerto Rico. (isabel Ferré Sadurní)

Many people have decided to travel to different destinations around the world even during the COVID-19 pandemic and the risks it brings. If the destination you have in mind is Puerto Rico, here are some details you should consider before packing your bags.

What the CDC says

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Puerto Rico has been under Level 3 Travel Alert since October 25. This means that the risk of infection on the island remains high, although it is not on the highest alert level.

Make sure you are fully vaccinated before traveling to these destinations” the CDC says. That is: with the two-dose series of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines completed, or with a 1-dose from Johnson & Johnson. Those travelers who are not vaccinated “should avoid nonessential travel to these destinations.”

The Department of Health has urged citizens to get the CDC-authorized booster dose, available six months after completing the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna series; or two months later for those vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson.

The current situation in Puerto Rico

According to data provided by the Department of Health, the COVID-19 positivity rate has remained above 2.0 since the end of October, averaging one death per day from the virus, which has claimed more than 3,260 lives on the island since March 2020.

90.6 percent of the eligible population aged 12 and older have received at least one dose of an approved vaccine against the virus, totaling more than 2.5 million people. Of these, more than 2.3 million have completed the vaccination series.

Puerto Rico is one of the leading jurisdictions in the vaccination process throughout the United States, a milestone celebrated both locally and nationally.

Health Protocols

Vaccination is required to attend events, establishments, and activities at full capacity.

Those places that choose to allow a negative COVID-19 test can only operate at 50 percent capacity. This applies to places such as movie theaters, museums, restaurants, and any other venue that promotes crowding.

Establishments are required to demand proof of vaccination from their customers. Showing the “Vacu ID” digital identification or the vaccination card issued by the CDC is allowed.

On the other hand, the use of masks is required in closed spaces and outdoor activities with 50 or more people. It is also recommended in tourist or urban areas with crowds. The requirement does not apply to beaches or resorts.

What you can do in Puerto Rico

There are countless activities available for travelers and residents. From visiting museums, enjoying the sun on the beach, or even planning a tour of different parts of the island, Discover Puerto Rico offers a guide that suits everyone with all the Puerto Rican wonders for you. Are you up for it?

Traveler data

More than 5.7 million travelers have arrived on the island since March 17, 2020, according to the Airport and Port Epidemiological Surveillance System updated November 10. Among the more than 4.4 million travelers monitored, just over 6,500 positive cases have been identified to date.

The Puerto Rico National Guard continues to administer the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine to travelers who request it at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU). Molecular testing also continues at this airport and the Isla Grande (SIG), Rafael Hernández (BQN), and Mercedita (PSE) airports.

Travelers coming from the United States who present their Vacu ID will not have to fill out the travel declaration upon arrival in Puerto Rico. This decision is effective October 29.

Useful links

Department of Health

Discover Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Tourism Company

Vacu ID / Cesco Digital

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