Puerto Rico Will Require a COVID Vaccine Card or a Negative Test to Check Into Lodging

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Traveling in Puerto Rico will soon be a little more difficult for those who are not fully vaccinated

Due to a recent covid spike and concerns about the risk of the delta variant, Puerto Rico will require more of its visitors. 

Beginning August 16th, either proof of full vaccination with Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson or a weekly negative covid test will be required for any form of short-term lodging. 

This not only applies to hotels, as it does in some other destinations, but also guesthouses, Airbnb, VRBO, and others. 

Those found in violation could face $5,000 in fines or up to six months of jail time. 

This is in addition to the already required negative PCR test taken within 72 hours required for entry for those who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated with a CDC vaccine card as proof. 

This means travelers who were vaccinated outside the United States or are entering from an international flight are not exempt from testing requirements for entry.

The Online Portal allows you to upload your data prior to your flight and will only accept CDC vaccine cards as an exemption from testing requirements at this time. 

Boiled down, if you are traveling short or medium-term in Puerto Rico, you will need to either be vaccinated or test weekly.

Often these rules also do not apply to children, but as of now, anyone age two and up will not be exempt from the testing requirements as Puerto Rico tightens up their policies in hopes of reducing covid numbers. 

If you are not yet vaccinated, the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) offers the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Terminal B.

What to expect if you’re traveling in Puerto Rico

The mask policy in Puerto Rico will remain the same. Unvaccinated must mask at all times in public, including those between the ages of 2 and 11 who cannot yet be vaccinated. All people, regardless of vaccination status, must mask indoors at all times in public spaces. 

Luckily this means virtually everything is open for business. So although you will need to carry your vaccine card around with you, there’s plenty to do and see. Public transportation, restaurants, even bars, discos, and sporting events are open at full capacity. 


Lauren is a freelance journalist from Seattle. She travels the globe in search of the best grocery stores, bouldering gyms, and snorkeling locations. Her mission at Freedom Is Everything is to help others make the transition into location-independent lifestyles.