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Puerto Rico will officially reopen to all international travelers on July 15, 2020. While there are currently no restrictions on who can enter Puerto Rico once the island reopens, the tourism board has announced a series of rules and regulations to keep everyone safe. Here’s everything you need to know if you plan on traveling to Puerto Rico on or after July 15:
What to expect at the airport
Discover Puerto Rico has put together a handy guide for what to expect if you travel to the island when it reopens. Upon arrival, travelers will be subject to health screenings, including COVID-19 testing. Travelers may be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days, regardless of symptoms.
Transportation providers will be required to disinfect their vehicles, wear masks, put on gloves while handling luggage and provide their passengers with hand sanitizer. Rideshare passengers will be required to wear masks and prohibited from sitting in the front seat.
What to expect on arrival
Hotels in Puerto Rico will adopt many of the policies being implemented in places like The Bahamas and French Polynesia. All guests will have to undergo temperature checks and have their luggage disinfected upon arrival. Wearing masks in public areas as well as restaurants and shopping areas will be mandatory and social distancing rules will apply.
Hotels will be required to regularly clean and sanitize public spaces and limit capacity at pools to 50%. Fitness centers and spas, which are currently closed, will reopen and operate at 50% capacity.
On the plus side, you’ll be able to access public beaches and partake in water activities with members of your household.
If you’re thinking of bypassing some of these restrictions by booking an Airbnb, keep in mind that many of the same rules will apply.
While restaurants are currently open, capacity will increase from 25% to 50% on June 16.
Temperature checks will be enforced and anyone with a temperature over 100.3 will be denied entry. As is now the norm in the age of COVID-19, buffets will not reopen and restaurant staff will serve meals wearing gloves and masks.
Shopping malls will be open but accessible via appointment only. No plans have been announced regarding casinos and playgrounds reopening, though the same cleaning and social distancing guidelines will apply.
Through June 30, an islandwide curfew will remain in place between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. This curfew may well get extended, so be sure to check this information before booking or departing on your trip, if that’s important to you.
How to get there
Airfare to Puerto Rico can be quite affordable, depending on your travel dates and departure city. A search turned up $137 round-trip fares between Miami (MIA) and San Juan (SJU) in July.
In late July, Spirit Airways offers round-trip fares between Newark (EWR) and SJU for as low as $53 round-trip. Flights from Dallas (DFW) come in at just $92 while West Coast departures start at $285.
At these rates, redeeming points through a card like the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card works out better than using airline miles. For example, American Airlines requires 30,000 miles round-trip for a flight to Puerto Rico. Delta’s awards are pricing out at over 50,000 miles in July. Instead, you can book one of the above-mentioned cash fares and redeem just 5,300 – 28,500 Venture miles. Granted, some of us would prefer the cargo hold over flying Spirit Airlines, but some fares are too good to pass up.
The information for the Capital One Venture card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Related: A country-by-country guide to coronavirus recovery
Puerto Rico’s official reopening in July coincides with popular destinations like The Bahamas and French Polynesia, which also chose that month to welcome tourists. People are getting restless in quarantine and tourism organizations are taking steps to not only attract these travelers to their destinations but to make them feel safe doing so. It’s great to see Puerto Rico join a growing list of destinations attempting to safely reopen this summer. Hopefully, the end result is positive and leads the way for more destinations to follow suit.