Puerto Rico’s beaches have reopened, under a new set of coronavirus restrictions announced last week by Governor Pedro Pierluisi.
Beaches, as well as swimming pools and marinas, will be open from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Large gatherings will not be allowed, masks will be required, and social distancing is mandatory except for people from the same household. Alcohol will not be allowed on the beaches.
Previously, beaches were closed at 9:00 p.m. and all day Sunday. People were allowed on beaches only for individual sports and exercise. Groups were not allowed to gather on beaches. The new, more relaxed coronavirus restrictions are intended to improve “quality of life,” the governor said.
Bars will still be closed and restaurants will operate at 30% of their capacity. The shortened curfew and the end of the Sunday lockdown will affect most businesses.
The new rules will be reevaluated in 30 days.
COVID-19 in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico has had a total of 141,896 cases of COVID-19, with 1,642 deaths. The CDC classifies current levels of infection as ” very high.” They recommend that “Travelers should avoid all travel to Puerto Rico” and advise a 10-day quarantine for people who do travel to the Island.
Discover Puerto Rico, the primary tourist organization, said it is “encouraging only essential travel at this time.”
All travelers must complete a travel declaration and must have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their arrival in Puerto Rico.
At the same time, Puerto Rico is beginning to administer the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to those who received the first dose. At least 60,000 people haver been vaccinated already and the health department expects to receive another 40,000 doses each week.
The new orders from the governor include efforts to inform the Island better on the necessary measures to contain the spread of the virus. The Associated Press quoted Pierluisi as saying, “Our goal has to be to be able to return to a new normal. We have to keep taking preventive measures in the meantime.”
Puerto Rico’s coronavirus restrictions have been among the toughest in the United States.