Domestic travel to Puerto Rico is about to get easier, so long as you’re fully vaccinated.
New entry requirements are set to go into effect Wednesday and will scrap testing requirements for fully vaccinated domestic travelers. On-island restrictions will also ease, with capacity restrictions set to lighten up across a variety of businesses.
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi announced the changes Friday, citing a drop in COVID-19 cases. Puerto Rico reported 1,727 new cases on Thursday, a fraction of the 14,000-plus new daily cases it reported in early January, per data from Johns Hopkins University.
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Do I need to be fully vaccinated or test to enter Puerto Rico?
Starting Wednesday, travelers who can present proof of vaccination will no longer need to show a negative test before boarding their flight and after arrival.
Unvaccinated travelers will still need to take a negative test no more than 48 hours before departure to avoid a seven-day quarantine. Unvaccinated travelers will also still be required to take another negative test within their first 48 hours on the island and quarantine while they wait for the results.
Those who do not test after arrival will be subject to fines and must quarantine for seven days. If the test result is positive, they must quarantine for 10 days.
The island’s three open airports still require visitors to fill out a “Travel Declaration Form” before entry, and travel restrictions for international travelers visiting Puerto Rico will not change. International visitors must be fully vaccinated and show a negative antigen or PCR test taken within one day prior to departure.
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Changes on the island: Longer operating hours, larger events
Puerto Rico is also lifting restrictions that currently require businesses to close between midnight and 5 a.m. and blocks the sale of alcohol at those times.
Restaurants and other businesses that primarily serve food will be able to operate at 75% capacity indoors, up from 50%, and will be able to operate at full capacity outdoors. Bars and other venues that primarily serve alcohol will still need to operate at 50% capacity.
Customers visiting businesses that serve food or drinks will still be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative antigen or PCR test performed by an authorized health provider within the last 48 hours to enter. Masks are still required indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
People attending large-scale events will still be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test as well, but venues will be able to operate with more people. Large-scale events can exceed 250 attendees but will need to cap occupancies at 50%.
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Follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz.