Islands across the Caribbean have been preparing to welcome back tourists this summer. The latest, Puerto Rico, announced as part of the island’s four-phased reopening plan it will reopen to inbound tourism on July 15.
Puerto Rico has been on an island-wide lockdown since mid-March that included the enforcement of a curfew for all residents.
The reopening plan calls for guest, upon arrival at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, to undergo free and voluntary COVID-19 testing and a quick health check-up to arriving passengers. The airport is also utilizing technology to automatically gauge incoming travelers' temperature.
Shuttle and taxi drivers will be required to disinfect their vehicles, wear masks, put on gloves while handling luggage, and provide their passengers with hand sanitizer.
At hotels, a majority of which has opened on the island, all guests will have to undergo temperature checks and have their luggage disinfected upon arrival. Cleaning and housekeeping procedures will follow CDC and EPA standards.
Hotels will initially operate at 50% capacity, and fitness centers and spas, which are currently closed, will reopen and operate at 50% capacity as well in order to promote social distancing.
Buffets, salad bars, and self-serve options, as well as reusable menus, will be temporarily banned at hotel restaurants.
While the island’s restaurants are currently open, capacity will increase from 25% to 50% on June 16. Temperature checks will be taken before entering, and those with temperatures over 100.3 will be denied entry.
The entirety of the plan, according to the executive director of Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), is designed to bring "a gold standard in health sand safety" to the island. The PRTC will monitor all tourism-related businesses during the reopen.
"We are certain that the assurances and security these measures provide, coupled with the experiences that make Puerto Rico such an attraction destination, will play a vital role in the short-term recovery of the travel industry of the island," Carla Campos, the executive director of PRTC said.