Photo: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Puerto Rico Postpones Its Reopening Amid COVID-19 Surge

by Eben Diskin Jul 17, 2020

Although Puerto Rico opened for tourism on July 15, a surge in COVID-19 cases has caused the island to begin reintroducing tourism industry restrictions. Puerto Rico’s governor Wanda Vázquez Garced announced on Thursday that bars, movie theaters, and casinos would be re-closed; restaurant capacity limits would be reduced to 50 percent; and sunbathing would be prohibited on Puerto Rico’s beaches. The 10:00 PM curfew will also be extended.

These new measures aren’t ones the island wanted to take, especially since Puerto Rico officially reopened to tourism on Wednesday and was looking forward to a robust end to the summer tourist season. A spike in hospitalizations and cases, however, has made the rollback unavoidable.

According to Vazquez, “These measures are very difficult for us to take because we know there is a part of the economy that has been hurt and will be hurt by these new measures. But as I’ve said before, the most important thing is everyone’s life and the safety of our people.”

It’s unclear how long the rollback will last and when bans will be lifted. The good news is, if you’ve already booked a flight to Puerto Rico for the coming weeks, you will still be able to enter the island. Just expect a slightly more limited experience.

The official travel advisory states, “A continuous assessment of the situation in Puerto Rico and in the United States will influence Island-wide orders that prioritize health and safety.”

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