Puerto Rico Drops All COVID Restrictions for Travelers Arriving on Domestic Flights

As of March 10, U.S. travelers no longer need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result to enter the U.S. territory. Here’s what else you need to know to visit Puerto Rico safely and respectfully.

Puerto Rico Drops All COVID Restrictions for Travelers Arriving on Domestic Flights

Travel to Puerto Rico just got a lot simpler.

Photo by Shutterstock

Starting March 10, 2022, travelers no longer need to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result to travel to Puerto Rico if they are arriving on a domestic flight from the U.S. mainland. Travelers arriving on international flights must follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s requirement to show proof of vaccination (one or two doses, finished at least 14 days prior, booster not required) and present a negative COVID-19 test taken within one day of departure.

Also as of March 10, there are no longer capacity limits or a requirement to show proof of vaccination status or a negative COVID-19 test for entrance at any restaurant, bar, theater, event venue, and beyond. Masks are no longer mandatory on the island; however, they are recommended for situations where “vaccination status cannot be guaranteed.” Still, individual establishments may establish their own mask requirements and safety guidelines, such as proof of vaccination.

Here’s what else you need to know about traveling safely and responsibly in Puerto Rico right now.

Is Puerto Rico open for travel?

If you’re an American traveler coming from the mainland United States, yes.

If you’re traveling internationally, it’s open, but there are rules. Per Discover Puerto Rico, the official tourism organization of the island, all travelers above age two arriving on international flights must present a negative PCR or antigen COVID-19 test taken a day before departure and have proof of vaccination.

Unvaccinated travelers arriving on international flights will only be allowed in if they are U.S. citizens.

What travel restrictions are in place to go to Puerto Rico?

As of March 10, travelers arriving on domestic flights from the mainland United States are no longer required to present a vaccination card or negative COVID-19 test results.

If a traveler tests positive while in Puerto Rico, they will be required to quarantine and cover their own medical and extended stay expenses until the Health Department releases them. Those who want to be released from quarantine will have to undergo a test and share the negative results with the government. Those who break quarantine orders will be fined up to $5,000 for the first offense and up to $10,000 for any additional offenses.

Are COVID-19 tests required to return to the mainland United States from Puerto Rico?

No. As a U.S. territory, Puerto Rico is excluded from the new CDC order that requires all international passengers flying into the United States—including returning U.S. citizens—to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding.

However, the CDC still recommends that unvaccinated people get tested one to three days before traveling back from Puerto Rico. Upon returning home, the CDC also recommends self-quarantining for five days and getting tested three to five days after travel. The CDC asks that vaccinated travelers self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and isolate and get tested if any develop after their trip.

What airlines have flights to Puerto Rico right now?

Because Puerto Rico never closed its borders, major U.S. airlines continued to fly to and from the island. However, in order to better track people arriving in Puerto Rico, between March 2020 and April 2021, flights were only allowed in and out of San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport.

Rafael Hernández Airport in Aguadilla (BQN) and the Mercedita International Airport in Ponce (PSE) reopened to passenger travel on April 1, 2021. As of March 10, 2022, airlines flying to Puerto Rico’s airports include American, Delta, Frontier, Spirit, Southwest, and United, among others.

How much is actually open in Puerto Rico?

While there used to be an island-wide curfew, capacity limits for businesses, and a mask mandate for both indoors and outdoors, as of March 10, there are no limitations. In other words, everything is open.

Where to stay in Puerto Rico

Many hotels in Puerto Rico stayed open throughout the pandemic for displaced travelers and frontline workers and reopened to local leisure travelers starting in June 2020. Because some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination or negative test results upon arrival, check with your hotel to learn what their protocols are before booking.

The Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico reopened for nonessential stays on June 2, 2020. In addition to implementing social-distancing measures like touchless check-in and check-out services per Hyatt’s Global Care and Cleanliness Commitment, Hyatt also installed UV light purifying air conditioners in all 579 rooms on the property.

Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve reopened on July 1, 2020. The mostly open-air property is set right on the northern coast of Puerto Rico, a 35-minute drive from San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. Many of the hotel’s 115 guest rooms come with direct beach access and private plunge pools, making it easier to social distance and limit indoor interactions with other guests. As a Marriott property, Dorado Beach is following health and safety protocols in accordance with Marriott’s Global Cleanliness Council.

The Associated Press contributed to this article. This article originally appeared online in June 2020; it was updated on May 24, 2021, on May 25, 2021, and again on March 10, 2022, to include current information.

>> Next: The AFAR Guide to Puerto Rico

Lyndsey Matthews is the senior commerce editor at AFAR who covers travel gear, packing advice, and points and loyalty.
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