The new governor of Puerto Rico says it’s time to reopen beaches, marinas, and pools, as well as shorten curfews and end a Sunday lockdown, all of which were actions taken to control the spread of COVID-19.
Governor Pedro Pierluisi made the announcement on Tuesday, and it will go into effect on January 8 for 30 days, after which the governor says he’ll review and amend if cases rise. The reopening of the beaches comes with some limits such as no alcohol or large groups allowed, and social distancing is required for people who are not of the same family. The new curfew will run from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Face masks remain mandatory.
Restrictions such as the closure of bars and limited capacity in restaurants, museums, and casinos, will remain.
Associated Press reports that Pierluisi’s announcement was met with approval around Puerto Rico. “It’s quality of life,” Pierluisi said. “Our goal has to be to be able to return to a new normal. We have to keep taking preventive measures in the meantime.”
As of Wednesday, the U.S. territory of 3.2 million people has reported more than 127,000 confirmed and probable cases and more than 1,200 confirmed deaths.
But even as Puerto Rico begins to reopen, the tourism company Discover Puerto Rico writes online that it’s “encouraging only essential travel at this time. A continuous assessment of the situation in Puerto Rico and in the United States influences Island-wide orders that prioritize the health and safety of residents and visitors.”
Anyone needing to make an essential trip to Puerto Rico is required to fill out an online travel declaration form via the Puerto Rico Health Department and provide results from a negative COVID test taken no more than 72 hours before traveling.
For the latest travel information, see more here.