Puerto Rico demanding COVID-19 test results from arriving passengers
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Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced (R) announced a slate of new rules Tuesday for passengers entering Puerto Rico amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

Beginning July 15, all passengers must wear a face mask and take a “molecular” test less than 72 hours before their arrival. Passengers will submit the results at the airport, and those who refuse will have to enter a two-week quarantine. They will then have to share the results of a molecular test if they want to leave the quarantine, according to Puerto Rico Health Secretary Lorenzo González. 

“If you don’t want to be tested, stay home. Don’t come here and complicate our situation,” González said, according to The Associated Press.


Most molecular tests use a throat or nose swab. Puerto Rico’s government will not accept a test for coronavirus antibodies. Travelers will also fill out a form prior to arriving in Puerto Rico with other health information, including where the test was taken.

Gonzaléz told reporters Tuesday that Puerto Rico will use a system known as “Sara Alert” to monitor passengers. It will be random and respond to individuals who do not respond to tracking efforts, such as phone calls, the AP reported.

Passengers who refuse to respond to text messages requesting updates could be fined, according to the AP. Vázquez said her administration will hire 350 people to help track cases.

Vázquez also emphasized in a Tuesday press conference that everyone must wear a mask if they are outside or going into a business.

Puerto Rico has 7,250 coronavirus cases, and it has confirmed 153 deaths.

The island of 3.2 million people expects to receive up to 9,000 passengers a day in the coming months, according to Carla Campos, executive director of Puerto Rico’s Tourism Company, the AP reported. Puerto Rico is accepting roughly 4,500 daily arrivals. 

Puerto Rico on Monday extended a coronavirus curfew for three more weeks, marking the longest curfew in the U.S. during the pandemic. Everyone except essential workers must stay indoors from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. until July 22.