Puerto Rico Eases Restrictions, Allowing Reopening of Beaches Amid Pandemic

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Officials announced the reopening of Puerto Rico’s beaches, marinas, and pools this week after closing down due to a lockdown order that attempted to slow the spread of the COVID-19 infection.

Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi announced on Tuesday an order that eased the region’s lockdown restrictions, which allow beaches to reopen. The new order is set to remove a weekly Sunday lockdown and stricter curfew hours that have been implemented since the start of the health crisis.

Eased Restrictions

Previously, the curfew began at 9:00 p.m. every day and ended at 5:00 a.m. in the morning. However, the new order pushes the start of the curfew to 11;00 every night. The eased guidelines began on January 8.

Officials noted that restrictions such as limited capacity at restaurants, museums, and casinos, as well as the closure of bars, would continue to be implemented. Residents are also still required to wear face masks in public areas and maintain sufficient social distancing.

Before the new order, beaches only opened at specific hours and only allowed people who were practicing sports by themselves. With the new guidelines, residents are still urged to maintain social distancing and are not allowed to drink alcoholic beverages.

The region’s new guidelines would be in place for 30 days but are subject to change depending on the status of the infection. “Our goal has to be able to return to a new normal. We have to keep taking preventive measures in the meantime,” Pierluisi said.

Despite the island’s continuous efforts to return to a state of normalcy, officials are only “encouraging only essential travel at this time,” said tourism company Discover Puerto Rico on their website, Travel and Leisure reported.

The Puerto Rico Health Department requires travelers with essential trips to fill out an online Travel Declaration Form and provide a negative COVID-19 test that was taken no more than 72 hours before their arrival in Puerto Rico. Officials noted that people without test results were required to quarantine when they arrive.

Danielle Joyce Ong

Danielle is a local journalist with a passion for exploring stories related to crime and politics. When Danielle isn't busy writing or reading, she is usually exploring the great outdoors and all the hiking trails in the Bay.