Those visiting Puerto Rico should reference local measures developed by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC) to keep travelers and residents safe, such as social distancing, and high standards of cleanliness.

As of March 10th, masks are no longer mandatory on the Island with the exception of events hosting over 1,000 people. However, masks are still recommended for situations where vaccination status cannot be guaranteed. Individual establishments reserve the right to implement their own requirements surrounding masks and COVID-19 protocols, and visitors are encouraged to contact businesses directly.

Island Arrival 

Mask usage is a federal law on airplanes and in airports. For questions regarding the airport entry process, travelers should contact the Health Department at 939-592-5115 or [email protected].

The latest protocol updates:

  • As of March 10th, domestic travelers are not required to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival to the Island.

Air Travel

Travelers arriving on domestic flights:

  • As of March 10th, domestic travelers are not required to provide proof of vaccination or negative test prior to arriving on the Island.

Travelers arriving on international flights:

  • Due to CDC guidelines, all travelers arriving on international flights must present a negative COVID-19 test (either antigen or PCR) taken within one day prior to departure before traveling by air to the United States (including Puerto Rico as a territory) from a foreign country.
  • Non-U.S. citizens or long-term residents will need to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before traveling by air to the United States from a foreign country.

Additional Information:

  • Travelers who test positive while on the Island must quarantine and cover their own medical expenses/possible extended stay.

Cruise Operations

Port of Calls (Transit Call/Cruise Port Visit):

  • For ships to be permitted entry to Puerto Rico, all guests 12 years of age or older must be fully vaccinated with an FDA or WHO vaccine. Unvaccinated passengers cannot disembark in Puerto Rico except for children under 12 years of age.
  • Please check with cruise operators for their most up-to-date COVID protocols and regulations, as many operators require proof of vaccination prior to boarding and have specific testing requirements.

Home Port Operations (Starting or ending your cruise):

  • All guests arriving via air to Puerto Rico to board a cruise ship must follow the air-entry protocols outlined, which may vary based on vaccination status and point of origin (international or domestic).
  • Check with the cruise operator for their most up-to-date COVID protocols for cruise embarkation, including cruise lines vaccination and testing requirements.
  • For cruises ending in Puerto Rico, all guests will be automatically enrolled in the SARA alert program upon disembarking the cruise ship. This is an open-source tool allowing public health officials to monitor individuals at risk for COVID-19 and is also the same alert program used for guests registering with Travel Safe for air entry.

Things to Know: On the Island

New protocol updates for on-Island operations as of March 10th include:

  • Masks are not mandatory on the Island for both indoor and outdoor settings with fewer than 1,000 people. However, they are recommended in situations where vaccination status cannot be guaranteed. As of April 18th, masks are required at all events with over 1,000 attendees.
  • There are no capacity limits for establishments on the Island. Patrons are not required to present proof of vaccination or a negative test result upon entry to businesses. However, as always, individual establishments reserve the right to implement their own health and safety requirements.

Mask Usage

  • Masks are required on all public transportation, including all ferries operating to and from Vieques and Culebra. 
  • As of March 10th, masks are no longer mandatory on the Island with the exception of events hosting over 1,000 attendees.  However, they are recommended in situations where vaccination status cannot be guaranteed.

Beaches

  • Public beaches, natural reserves, and marinas are open, following social distancing guidelines. Visitors should connect with tour operators directly for additional information about operation status and specific protocols.

Lodging

  • As of March 10th, guests do not need to present proof of vaccination or a negative test result upon arrival to hotels, paradores, guesthouses, and short-term rentals across the Island, however, individual properties reserve the right to implement any specific measures.
  • Visitors should connect with their lodging property directly for additional information about operation status and specific protocols.

Dining

  • As of March 10th, guests of dining establishments do not need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test result taken 48 hours prior to arrival. Establishments are also not operating under a capacity limit.

Businesses & Other Establishments

  • As of March 10th, masks are not mandatory in private and public spaces with the exception of events hosting over 1,000 people. However, they are recommended in situations where vaccination status cannot be guaranteed. 
  • However, various establishments reserve the right to require masks for patrons and employees.

Events

  • As of April 18th, masks are required at all events with over 1,000 attendees.
  • Sporting events and recreational activities are permitted, following local guidelines.
  • Venues are not operating under a capacity limit.
  • Attendees of concerts and shows at venues including the below, among others, regardless of event size, are required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result taken at least 72 hours prior:
    • Coliseo de Puerto Rico
    • Puerto Rico Convention Center
    • The Coca-Cola Music Hall
  • Proof of vaccination with the first two doses will be sufficient and will not require the booster.

Things to Know: Leaving the Island

Testing Upon Return to Mainland 

  • Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and excluded from the CDC requirement to provide a negative COVID-19 test result to return to the mainland United States. Quarantine mandates, recommendations, and entry requirements may vary by state. A continuous assessment of the situation in Puerto Rico and in the United States influences Island-wide orders that prioritize the health and safety of residents and visitors. For travel recommendations provided by the CDC, please see here.

Testing for Travel to Other Destinations

  • Quarantine mandates, recommendations, and entry requirements may vary by country.

Q&A 

Is it safe to travel to Puerto Rico? Should I / should travelers cancel their trips?

If you are sick, an older adult, or someone with chronic medical conditions, leading health authorities recommend delaying or avoiding travel. For information about the CDC’s classification for travel to Puerto Rico, please visit their website here

Puerto Rico is enforcing local measures developed by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), such as social distancing. Beginning March 10th, the masks are no longer mandatory for both indoor and outdoor establishments with the exception of events hosting over 1,000 people. However, they are still recommended for situations where vaccination status cannot be guaranteed.

If my vacation is booked for the coming weeks, will I be able to enter Puerto Rico?

Yes, given the Island is a U.S. territory, our borders aren’t closed. However, travelers must comply with all requirements of our travel advisory. Those visiting Puerto Rico should review the local measures in place, as well as the most recent entry requirements.

Is Puerto Rico a hotspot for COVID-19?

As of April 18, 2022, Puerto Rico has one of the highest rates of vaccine doses administered against COVID-19 among United States jurisdictions. The Island has a vaccination rate of 155,266 doses administered per 100,000 people. 95.4% of the eligible population have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 86% are fully vaccinated.

What do I need to enter Puerto Rico?

  • For travelers arriving on domestic flights:
    • As of March 10th, domestic travelers are no longer required to provide proof of vaccination or negative test prior to arriving on the Island.
  • For travelers arriving on international flights:
    • Due to CDC guidelines, all travelers arriving on international flights must present a negative COVID-19 test (either antigen or PCR) taken within one day prior to departure before traveling by air to the United States (including Puerto Rico as a territory) from a foreign country.
    • Non-U.S. citizens or long-term residents will need to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before traveling by air to the United States from a foreign country.

What type of testing do I need, if I am not vaccinated or traveling internationally, prior to my visit to Puerto Rico?

As of March 10th, domestic travelers are not required to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival to the Island.

All travelers arriving on international flights must present a negative PCR or antigen COVID-19 test performed by an authorized health provider taken within one day prior to departure before traveling by air to the United States (including Puerto Rico as a territory) from a foreign country along with proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated travelers arriving on international flights will only be allowed in if they are U.S. citizens of permanent lawful residents. 

Will my health insurance cover the cost of the PCR molecular test taken at  testing sites on the Island?

Healthcare plans vary by country and state. It is recommended that travelers contact their provider for additional information on medical coverage fees. 

What is the airport doing to ensure health & safety?

  • The required use of face masks by everyone who transits and work at the airport.
  • Only passengers are allowed to enter the terminals.
  • All screens throughout the airport emphasize COVID-19 prevention guidelines.
  • About 100 hand sanitizer stations have been installed.
  • The addition of a third layer of disinfection with new fogger-type equipment allows for more thorough sanitation, in less time.
  • A double and high-efficiency air conditioning filter system in compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Touchless hand dryers have been installed in bathrooms.
  • An increase in the frequency and intensity of bathroom cleanings, which are performed every 30 to 60 minutes, based on traffic.
  • Installation of acrylic barriers at airline check-in counters.
  • Increasing the frequency of cleaning boarding pass printing and registration kiosks, in addition to promoting online registration to minimize contact.

For international travel, why 1 day rather than 24 hours for testing? What is considered a day?

The 1-day period is 1 day before the flight’s departure. The 1-day time frame instead of 24 hours for testing provides more flexibility to the air passenger and aircraft operator. By using a 1-day window, test acceptability does not depend on the time of the flight or the time of day that the test sample was taken. For example, if your flight is at 1 pm on a Friday, you could board with a negative test (either antigen or PCR) that was taken any time on the prior Thursday.

I had COVID-19 less than 90 days ago, and can therefore still test positive although I have fully recovered. Will I be denied entry into the Island?

As of March 10th, domestic travelers are not required to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival to the Island.

For international travelers, if you recovered from a documented COVID-19 infection within the past 90 days (regardless of vaccination status), you must present a positive COVID-19 test (either antigen or PCR performed by an authorized health provider) that shows the date when they were diagnosed, along with a medical certification by a doctor stating that they no longer have COVID-19 before boarding your flight. This documentation will only be accepted within the first 90 days of the passenger’s COVID-19 diagnosis. 

Do children need to get tested for COVID-19?

As of March 10th, all domestic travelers are no longer required to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival to the Island.

For international travelers, children above the age of 2 are required to present proof of vaccination (if eligible) or negative test result upon arrival. Children under the age of 2 are exempt from testing.

Is Puerto Rico accepting travelers from U.S. states with a high number of positive COVID-19 cases?

As a non-incorporated territory of the U.S., Puerto Rico abides by Federal Law and established restrictions on the entry of certain travelers. For more information, visit the CDC

A continuous assessment of the situation in Puerto Rico and in the United States will influence Island-wide orders that prioritize the health and safety of residents and visitors.

Under the new CDC rule, do I have to get a PCR molecular COVID-19 test to return to the United States from Puerto Rico?

Given Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, the destination is excluded from the CDC requirement and you do not need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result to return to the mainland United States. The CDC still recommends getting tested 3 – 5 days after arrival and staying home for 7 days post-travel. Quarantine mandates, recommendations, and entry requirements may vary by state.   

How can travelers protect themselves?

We urge those visiting to adhere to the measures put in place by the government of Puerto Rico, which includes abiding by social distancing guidelines and federal laws of face coverings in the airport or be subject to a fine. Any passenger who does not comply will be fined up to $5,000 for the first offense and up to $10,000 for additional offenses.

Additionally, travelers should adhere to health travel practices to help protect themselves and prevent the spread of disease. These are the same personal best practices that are standard for a typical flu season and include avoiding close contact with people who show signs of illness, avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, and washing your hands often with soap or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage.

Do I have to wear a mask after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?

As of March 10th, masks are not required on the Island with the exception of events hosting over 1,000 people. However, various establishments reserve the right to require masks for patrons and employees.

For more, we recommend visiting the CDC website here. The Department of Health has increased resources to ensure travelers are abiding by local guidelines. Travelers who do not comply with the orders and the local measures imposed by the Department of Health will be fined up to $5,000 for the first offense and up to $10,000 for additional offenses.

What should travelers do if they begin experiencing COVID-19 symptoms? What immediate steps should they take?

Travelers experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should stay in their hotel rooms and contact their hotel front desk to get support. If travelers are not staying at a hotel, contact the nearest hospital directly. It’s important that travelers and hotel staff call hospitals first before visiting, so that appropriate transportation, screening and care can be arranged, to protect those feeling ill and others. 

Puerto Rico hospitals adhere to the same federally mandated health safety guidelines as those on the mainland. Common mainland franchises like Walgreens and CVS pharmacies are available Island-wide and are enforcing high standards of health safety throughout the Island.

Are Island hospitals equipped to address coronavirus?

All hospitals on the Island have established protocols for admitting, treating, and collecting samples from patients who are experiencing symptoms, and hospital staff will work with the Department of Health if testing is needed. Funds have been made available on the Island to help hospitals prepare facilities, purchase materials and train nurses and paramedic staff.

Puerto Rico also has epidemiologists throughout the Island, who specialize in disease control and prevention, to advise on transportation, testing, and care for individuals who think they may have COVID-19.

Where will people be housed if they need to be quarantined?

Travelers must isolate in quarantine at their hotel or lodging option and cover their costs associated with this, as needed, should isolation be required. It is recommended that visitors connect with their hotels/hosts directly for additional information. The Department of Health has increased resources to ensure travelers are abiding by local guidelines. Travelers who do not comply with the orders and the local measures imposed by the Department of Health, will be fined up to $5,000 for the first offense and up to $10,000 for additional offenses.

What will hotels, short-term rentals, restaurants, and tour operators do if a tourist who has recently visited them tests positive?

The local industry has measures in place to ensure hotel management, businesses, and other partners have the latest information on COVID-19, including prevention measures on the Island, personal prevention tips for their teams and travelers, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and guidance for what to do if their staff or guests begin experiencing symptoms. More information on specific steps can be found in the latest industry guidance from the Puerto Rico Tourism Company. This guidance is consistent with what the CDC has outlined for businesses and employers.

Can tourists staying at hotels use the pool and/or go to the beach?

Public beaches and natural reserves are open for recreational use, following social distancing guidelines. Hotel pool facilities are open. Please consult with your specific property for other policies in place. 

Can I go to Vieques & Culebra?

Ferries and flights to Vieques and Culebra are operating, with masks required on all. There are some limitations on availability for lodging, attractions and transportation. Guests should check with their service providers directly for additional information about operation status and specific protocols.

Meetings/Events

What guidelines are currently in place for events?

  • Sporting events and recreational activities are permitted, following local guidelines.
  • Masks are not mandatory on the Island for both indoor and outdoor settings with fewer than 1,000 people. However, they are recommended in situations where vaccination status cannot be guaranteed. As of April 18th, masks are required at all events with over 1,000 attendees.
  • As of March 10th, all establishments and venues are operating outside of capacity limitations.
  • Attendees of concerts and shows at venues including the below, among others, regardless of event size, are required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result taken at least 72 hours prior:
    • Coliseo de Puerto Rico
    • Puerto Rico Convention Center
    • The Coca-Cola Music Hall
  • Proof of vaccination with the first two doses will be sufficient and will not require the booster.

If I’m not vaccinated and an event I’m attending on Island is longer than 3 days, will I need to test for each 72 hour period (given the 72-hour testing requirement for the unvaccinated) or can I use the same one I used to enter?

  • Unvaccinated people attending events must be tested within 72 hours prior to the event and should the event lasts several days, the person must always have a negative result carried out within 72 hours of the day they’re attending the event. This may mean having to take more than one test while on Island. 

Will children also be required to provide proof of vaccination to enter events?

  • Children between the ages of 5 and 11 years old are subject to the same guidelines as adults. Children under 5 years of age will not be allowed to attend large-scale events, even with negative results, except when permitted by the Department of Health.