Most Americans, even those who don’t visit Puerto Rico, aren’t aware of this fact, but the US Department of Health and Human Services recently announced that all people traveling to Puerto Rico will now have to be vaccinated against Hepatitis A or tested for the infection. This is just one of many new policies that the Trump administration has adopted to cut costs to US citizens, so this move is being seen as something that’s bound to negatively impact Americans in Puerto Rico.
Hotel staff in Puerto Rico will be required to check and, if necessary, treat guests for contagious diseases such as influenza, measles and pertussis, under a sweeping law signed by the U.S. territory’s governor on Thursday. The law also establishes a $2,000 fine for anyone who fails to comply with the new regulations, which take effect on November 9, the governor’s office said.
Puerto Rico recently became the first U.S. territory to require all hotel guests to get a medical screening for dengue fever and Zika virus ahead of time, if they are arriving from a place where these diseases are prevalent. The new law, which was signed by Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, will go into effect on Dec. 22, according to NBC.
In response to the growing wave of the Delta variation in the United States and across the globe, Puerto Rico is expected to adopt new regulations for hospitality businesses shortly.
Guests and staff of all hotels, paradores, guesthouses, and short-term rentals, including Airbnb and Vrbo rentals, will be required to provide evidence of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test conducted within 72 hours of their arrival on property beginning August 16. Those who remain longer than a week must continue to submit negative tests on a weekly basis. With very few exceptions, anybody who disobeys the new regulations faces a $5,000 fine or six months in prison.
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Domestic visitors from the United States must submit their CDC-issued immunization card to the island’s Travel Safe site in order to enter Puerto Rico. Visitors who have not been vaccinated must provide evidence of a negative PCR or antigen test within 72 hours of their arrival or face a $300 fine. The fee may be waived, though, if the passenger tests negative within 48 hours after arriving. Vaccination and testing requirements are waived for children under the age of two.
Because the Caribbean island is a US jurisdiction, passengers traveling back to the mainland are not obliged to submit a negative COVID-19 test.
According to AP News, the Puerto Rican government is taking this step in reaction to the island’s COVID-19 transmission rate of 11 percent this month, up from 1.4 percent in late June.
Puerto Rico is now classified as having a “high” level of community transmission, with a seven-day average positive rate of 10 to 14.9 percent, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By contrast, much of the United States is now in the same boat, with the Delta variety driving the majority of new cases across the board.
Governor Pedro Pierluisi stated during a news conference on August 5 that all government contractors, health facility employees, including laboratories and senior care facilities, would be subject to the same testing and immunization regulations.
Pierluisi remarked, “We can’t let our guard down.” “Vaccinations are the answer, and there are vaccines for everyone.”
According to Carlos Mellado, Puerto Rico’s Health Secretary, 20% of the island’s current hospitalizations are individuals who have previously received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccination. According to Travel & Leisure, 78.4% of Puerto Ricans aged 18 and above have gotten at least one dose of the authorized COVID-19 vaccination.
All companies are open on the ground at the destination, and masks are needed in all interior areas, regardless of vaccination status. Public health precautions spearheaded by the CDC, including as social distance and stricter cleanliness procedures, are still in place. When social distance isn’t possible, children between the ages of two and eleven must wear masks in all public places.
Visit discoverpuertorico.com for additional details.
Although the Zika virus may not sound like a big threat, the outbreak has caused concern among travelers since a large number of tourists have stayed at popular vacation destinations in Puerto Rico. For instance, the number of Zika virus infections in the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands has risen dramatically. Between August 2016 and January 2017, the two territories saw a total of 3,095 Zika virus infections, with a case-fatality rate of 0.7 percent.. Read more about puerto rico travel requirements and let us know what you think.
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