Puerto Rico is removing most COVID-19 restrictions on Thursday (March 10). That means entry requirements for domestic travelers will be lifted, and people no longer need to show proof of vaccination to enter venues or book accommodation.

After coming through a spike in COVID-19 caseloads and hospitalizations, Puerto Rico is set to scrap almost all its pandemic restrictions on Thursday as it continues to lead most US states and territories in vaccination rates. 

As of Monday, at least 77% of Puerto Rico's population was fully vaccinated, compared with the country’s overall rate of 65%, according to the New York Times vaccine tracker.

"While it is true that the pandemic is not over, the immunity we have achieved with vaccination puts us in a better position than any other territory," Puerto Rico's health secretary, Carlos Mellado López, said in a statement on Monday.

Starting Thursday, restrictions at the border will be lifted for domestic travelers, while rules on capacity limits, mask mandates and health passes will be eased across the island too.

If you're planning a trip to Puerto Rico, here's what you need to know about what's changing on March 10.

Restaurant hostess wearing a mask in front of a restaurant in Old San Juan
Outdoor dining areas can return to full capacity in February © AFP / Getty Images

New entry protocols for US travelers

Beginning on March 10, passengers arriving on domestic flights no longer need to present their vaccination status or a negative test. They're also not obliged to complete the Travel Declaration Form portal before traveling. 

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Puerto Rico removes health pass requirements

People will no longer be required to provide proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test result upon arrival in places such as restaurants, bars, movie theaters, museums and hotels. It's worth noting, however, that individual businesses still reserve the right to make their own health and safety guidelines so if you are vaccinated, it might be worth taking your pass on your trip anyway - just in case.

Mask mandates scrapped

Mask requirements will be removed for both indoor and outdoor establishments. However, in a statement, Puerto Rico's governor, Pedro R. Pierluisi, said people should still wear masks in indoor areas where it is unclear if everyone is vaccinated. Masks will still be required in health care facilities and "long-term care homes" or older people and on airplanes and in airports.

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Capacity limits lifted for businesses

Capacity limits for both private and public establishments, such as restaurants, bars, theaters, and event venues, will no longer be in place.

What requirements must international travelers meet? 

For travelers arriving on international flights, non-US citizens have been required since early December to show proof of vaccination and a negative test result taken within one day of travel to all states and territories within the US. This rule has not changed.

Non-US travelers who are unvaccinated are banned form entry as per federal law.

Find out more about Puerto Rico’s rules and restrictions on Discover Puerto Rico.

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This article was first published June 2020 and updated March 2022

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