Starting July 15, all passengers must take a molecular test 72 hours prior to their arrival and submit a negative result to officials at the airport. Those who refuse to do so, or test positive, or do not have the test results available, will be forced into a two-week quarantine. During that time, they have to undergo a molecular test and share the results if they want to be released from quarantine, said Puerto Rico Health Secretary Lorenzo González.
“If you don’t want to be tested, stay home. Don’t come here and complicate our situation,” he said.
Most molecular tests involve a nose or throat swab and are used to diagnose an active infection. Puerto Rico’s government will not accept any other test, including antibody ones that require a finger stick or blood drawn.
All travelers must wear masks or scarves in the mouth & nose while in Puerto Rico. The Police will intervene with the those who do not wear the mask or scarve.
Gov. Wanda Vázquez said her administration will recruit 350 people to help with tracking and monitoring efforts.
“We cannot let our guard down, especially with people who live elsewhere and are infected,” she said.
The new rules come amid an alarming resurgence of cases in the U.S. mainland, with states like Texas, Florida and California backtracking on reopenings. Meanwhile, worldwide, officials report 500,000 confirmed deaths and 10 million confirmed cases.
Vázquez’s administration will require that all passengers fill a form prior to arriving in Puerto Rico with required information including where the test was taken. Vázquez also stressed that everyone has to wear a mask if they’re outside or going into a business.
Puerto Rico’s main international airport will continue to be the only one accepting all commercial flights, with no date yet on when other airports, including a smaller international one in the island’s northwest region, will reopen.