(Thursday, July 2, 2020- Washington, D.C.) –Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced announced that she would sign Executive Order 2020-052, which will come into effect on July 15, 2020. Executive Order 052 establishes several new mandatory measures regarding the influx of passengers arriving on the island. These measures include travelers who come to Puerto Rico to provide a travel declaration that will monitor the health status of an individual and a SARS-Cov2 qualified molecular negative COVID-19 test that was carried out within 72 hours prior to arrival. Additionally, individuals traveling to the island need to observe proper social distancing measures and wear appropriate face coverage for the nose and mouth at the following airports: Luis Muñoz Marín International (SJU), Rafael Hernández International Airport (BQN), and Mercedita International Airport (PSE).
The Executive Order also establishes that if an individual is unable to bring a molecular negative test result prior to arrival, they need to go through the screening process set at the airport and perform a quick serological test. If a serological test result comes back positive, the individual must undergo a molecular test and remain in quarantine while awaiting the results. If a molecular test comes positive, an individual must remain quarantined for 14 days and be responsible for assuming the medical and extension expenses of their stay, since the traveler must stay isolated until the Puerto Rico Health Department deems it necessary. If an individual does not bring a molecular test and does not agree to be tested upon arrival to the island, they must remain in quarantine for 14 days or during their stay in Puerto Rico, whichever is shorter, at their own cost.
There are several exceptions to this order, including aviation mechanics and flight crew members who will not remain in Puerto Rico for 72 hours, they will be exempt from quarantine. Additionally, activated military, federal agents, or others authorized by the Secretary of Health may be excluded from the tests and quarantine. However, everyone must complete the corresponding individual travel declaration for proper follow-up and monitoring by the Department of Health. Furthermore, individuals must comply with all orders, instructions, protocols, and requests for information issued by the Department of Health, the National Guard, and any other government entity connected with Aerostar and the Department of Health. The measures on this Executive Order will enable the government of Puerto Rico to ensure the health and safety of residents on the island and procure an orderly reopening of our tourism industry.
“Puerto Rico has been a leading jurisdiction within our Nation in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have taken historic and unprecedented actions to safeguard our people’s health and wellbeing,” said Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced. “As we move forward with the orderly and safe reopening of our economy, we will continue to implement the necessary measures to avoid the spread of this virus”.
The Governor added, “One of the leading industries of Puerto Rico is the tourism sector. As such, the island receives thousands of visitors, and our priority is to ensure that there are protections in place for tourists and residents alike. With this in mind, we are implementing these measures at the airports assuring appropriate precautions to avoid infecting others. I want Puerto Ricans living in the U.S. mainland to safely come to our island and visit their family members without fear of spreading this virus or infecting a love one. I want tourists and everyone visiting Puerto Rico to feel safe. I want our island prepared, as we continue to face this new COVID-19 reality.”
“As we continue to see a spike in COVID-19 related cases statewide, Puerto Rico cannot let its guard down,” said Jennifer M. Storipan, Esq. “This Administration will continue to implement the necessary measures to avoid further spread of this virus and ensure safety upon arrival to the island and our airports are an integral part of this equation”.
Nairka Joe Treviño Müller, MPA
Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration
1100 17th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20036