Despite the single-digit number of cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Puerto Rico to date, the Island has implemented far-reaching preventative measures and is exercising caution with new policies in place to avoid its mass spread.
Like many states and cities across the U.S., the Governor of Puerto Rico declared a state of emergency to make additional resources available and has activated the National Guard as part of the Island’s measures to prepare.
The mandates are being strictly enforced, which means residents and tourists need to abide by these new policies or they will be subject to significant repercussions, which consist of a fine of up to $5,000 and the risk of being arrested.
Although hotels remain open, public areas and amenities in hotels, including spas, pools, and recreational areas, are closed. Restaurants inside hotels will remain open but limited to those that can offer their services by way of carryout or delivery versus sit-down services. Bars inside restaurants will be closed, and room service is available.
Casinos are closed until March 30, and restaurants are closed for sit-down patrons, although some are open for drive-thru, carry out, and delivery service.
Preventative measures include enhanced health screenings of all passengers upon arrival into San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, which consists of a brief temperature check, with further screening at the airport, if necessary. Plus, the San Juan Bay is currently closed to cruise ships.
The Island is promoting social distancing by suspending all large events on the Island until March 30, 2020. This is in accordance with CDC guidelines.
The Island has established an Island-wide curfew from 9:00 pm to 5:00 am, through March 30, 2020. The only exceptions are those who are working or in cases of emergency.
All non-essential businesses, including theaters, malls, casinos, bars, gyms, attractions such as tours, national parks, and public beaches, and “any place that promotes the gathering of citizens in one place” are closed.
Supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations, and other essential businesses like restaurants that offer takeout or delivery will only be open through 6:00 PM.
Taxis and Ubers are only operating from 5:00 am to 9:00 pm with the exception of those servicing the airports.
Last month, at an event that attracted about 200 travel advisors in New York City, Discover Puerto Rico execs shared updates. Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico, said during the gathering, “Puerto Rico is resilient and should earn a Ph.D. in resiliency.” This holds true during this latest crisis.
For more information on this fluid situation, visit Recommend’s Coronavirus Updates Center at recommend.com/coronavirus.