Puerto Rico has been on lockdown in response to the coronavirus for three months. With a general curfew, required masks and social distancing, and many businesses and public spaces shut down, Puerto Rico has had some of the strictest coronavirus rules in the United States.
Puerto Rico has also had some of the lowest figures for coronavirus, compared with states that have similar populations. As of today, Puerto Rico has 5,536 total cases. Utah, with 3.2 million residents, has 13,577 cases. Iowa, with slightly fewer people that Puerto Rico, has 23,337.
The Island will soon discover whether their sacrifices will protect them over the long term.
Open for business
Governor Wanda Vazquez Garced announced last week that nearly all coronavirus restrictions will end today. All businesses can open, including gyms, daycares, and music performance venues. Beaches, parks, and churches will be open. Restaurants can increase to 50% capacity. Government workers and teachers will return to work. The curfew will begin at 10:00 p.m. instead of 7:00 p.m. Tourists will be welcomed once again, with no need for self-quarantine when they reach Puerto Rico.
Public transportation will not get back to normal, and the new curfew will continue to June 30th. Otherwise, almost all of the coronavirus rules will end.
Still a pandemic
“I want people to understand we’re still in a pandemic,” the governor said, according to the Associated Press.
In fact, Puerto Rico had its highest number of cases in a single week earlier this month.
However, Puerto Rico is not in a position to delay economic action. Some experts estimate that Puerto Rico has lost $6-12 billion in the coronavirus shut down.
As people begin to travel again, Puerto Rico’s proven respect for social distancing and other coronavirus rules could make the Island a more appealing destination than other vacation spots. The tourism industry was growing before the pandemic, and it may do so after the pandemic as well.