Since the delta variant took hold in mid-July, we’ve all seen the rules. For example, the new Harry Potter store in NYC has capacity limits in place so they’re using a virtual queue system (we visited it; the store is an amazing hot mess, y’all). Everyone again has to wear masks indoors at Disney parks. Some places have taken it even further, i.e., if you plan to see a Broadway show, you’ll have to show proof of vaccination.
But all of those are small places.
Some cities, such as Chicago and San Francisco, have put more stringent COVID restrictions back into place, usually in the form of mask mandates. But we had yet to see an entire market require proof of vaccines to stay at a hotel.
Effective August 16, Puerto Rico will become the first U.S. market to require full vaccinations for all employees and guests at hotels and other accommodations options, including short-term rentals like Airbnb and VBRO. Showing proof of vaccination status will be required.
The only exception is those who are unvaccinated due to religious or medical reasons. They must provide proper documentation such as medical notes or signed affidavits and must show a negative PCR or antigen test that’s been taken within 72 hours before their arrival on the island. Any unvaccinated traveler who arrives without a test result will be fined $300 (the fine will be waived if the traveler presents the test or evidence that the test was performed within 48 hours of arrival on the island). These unvaccinated guests must then be tested every week during their stay. With few exceptions, violators will face up to a $5,000 fine or six months in jail.
Visitors who arrive at the Luis Munoz Marin Airport in San Juan can receive a Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Terminal B. The same is offered on the islands of Vieques and Culebra via the Maritime Transportation Authority ferry terminal in Ceiba on the mainland’s northeast coast south of Fajardo.
Like much of the U.S., Puerto Rico’s transmission rate had improved greatly by late spring; their was just 1.4% in late June. However, the highly contagious delta variant has increased its transmission rate to 11%.
Feature Photo: UNICEF / flickr
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary