From bioluminescent beaches like Mosquito Bay to the historic city of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico holds a lot of appeal for holidaymakers. While many travelers are eager to vacation in Puerto Rico, many others have a few questions: Is it safe to travel to Puerto Rico? What are Puerto Rico’s COVID restrictions? Do I need travel insurance for Puerto Rico? Let’s get it all sorted out.
COVID-19 in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico takes Covid safety very seriously and, as a United States territory, follows many of the same regulations as the continental U.S. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control classifies the Covid threat in Puerto Rico at a Level 3, which means Covid does present a considerable safety threat and travelers should only travel to Puerto Rico if they are fully vaccinated.
Additionally, starting in Mid-August of 2021, anyone staying and working at one of Puerto Rico’s hotels, guesthouses or short-term rental spaces are required to be fully vaccinated. This means that, while unvaccinated travelers are still permitted to enter the country, most lodging accommodations will not be open to them.
If you’re not vaccinated, you must present a negative PCR or antigen test within three days from the start of your visit. If you’re planning to stay longer than a week, be prepared to show current negative tests on a weekly basis. If you are unvaccinated due to medical or religious reasons, you need to make sure you have proper supporting documentation, and you’re still expected to show negative covid test results each week of your stay.
Upon entering the island, you’ll need to fill out a Travel Declaration Form on the Puerto Rico Health Department’s online portal. This gives each visitor a QR code which is required for entry. International travelers and unvaccinated visitors are required to upload a current negative COVID-19 test result through the portal. Fully vaccinated travelers on domestic flights to Puerto Rico can upload their vaccination cards instead of having to take a PCR or antigen test. All passengers need to present a valid ID to corroborate the information given on their Travel Declaration Form.
In combination with these safety measures, the usual social distancing protocols also apply in Puerto Rico. You should stand six feet apart and wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
Do I need travel insurance for Puerto Rico?
You can expect Puerto Rico to have some of the same travel requirements as the United States. As such, you don’t currently need travel insurance for Puerto Rico. Still, with the surge in Delta variant COVID cases globally, it is a good idea to buy travel medical insurance.
Travel insurance with medical coverage that lasts the duration of your Puerto Rico vacation ensures that you can receive medical care in case you become sick or injured while abroad. This includes treatment for COVID if the virus is contracted during the policy effective dates.
Travelers often choose to buy travel insurance for Puerto Rico due to the frequency of hurricanes and earthquakes there. In the wake of COVID-19, Delta, and other variants, trip cancellations and delays are becoming more frequent. Trip insurance, a subset of travel insurance, can help you recoup losses associated with these travel issues. If you do choose trip insurance, be sure to purchase it soon after making your first trip arrangement payment, like a hotel deposit, or airfare bookings. Some of the features that would be the most helpful during the pandemic (like Cancel For Any Reason coverage) are time sensitive.
Will my domestic healthcare or Medicare cover me in Puerto Rico?
Having an amazing time on any trip often comes down to one thing: preparation. But even the most-prepared traveler can be caught off guard by the unexpected. A tropical storm or hurricane can cause your flight to Puerto Rico to be canceled or delayed. Or perhaps an emergency at home forces you to cancel your plans. In either of these situations, trip insurance can help.
Purchase trip insurance to protect your investment
Even if you plan your trip to Cancun meticulously, there is still a lot that is beyond your control. A tropical storm may cause your flights to Cancun to be canceled or delayed. Or perhaps something unexpected happened at the last minute, forcing you to cancel all of your vacation plans. In either of these situations, trip insurance can help ensure your investment is protected.
Some of the other top benefits of basic trip insurance include:
- Trip cancellation
- Trip interruption
- Flight delay coverage
- Coverage for lost passport or lost cash
- Coverage for lost or damaged baggage
Cancel For Any Reason Insurance
While standard trip insurance covers cancellations for a limited number of reasons like natural disasters or the death of a loved one, Cancel For Any Reason Insurance (CFAR) coverage allows you to cancel your plans for any reason and still recoup prepaid travel expenses like hotel and rental deposits or unused event tickets. This means that if you’re suddenly feeling apprehensive about traveling to Puerto Rico, you can go ahead and cancel and receive reimbursement for prepaid expenses that would otherwise be nonrefundable.
Rental Car Insurance
Thinking about car rental in Puerto Rico? Some trip insurance plans also offer rental car collision coverage. If you think you might want to take a spin around the islands, adding this benefit to your basic travel insurance can protect you if you injure yourself or damage the car.
Adventure Sports Insurance
Puerto Rico has all the beautiful beaches and azure waters needed for a relaxing vacation, but if you’re looking for a little more adventure, you won’t be disappointed. From hiking in El Morro or exploring Cueva Ventana to snorkeling and scuba diving in the cays just off of Fajardo, there’s plenty of opportunities for adventure.
Of course, with more adventure comes more risks. Your standard travel insurance won’t usually cover you for medical care for injuries related to higher-risk sports and activities. That’s why you may want to consider adding adventure sports coverage to your plan.
Cruising to Puerto Rico? Purchase cruise insurance.
Puerto Rico is a popular port of call. If you’re on a cruise that stops in Puerto Rico, you’ll want to protect yourself with travel insurance designed specifically for cruise travel. Cruise ships will have medical personnel and facilities on board, but resources are limited. They aren’t equipped to handle major medical emergencies or severe illnesses. This is why cruise travel insurance is so important. If you have cruise insurance and need major medical treatment, you can be covered for emergency medical evacuation and hospital stays. Depending on your policy, cruise insurance may also include rental car coverage. This will come in handy if you sign up for a Puerto Rico excursion or two.
One of the biggest benefits of getting cruise-specific insurance is that it offers financial assistance in the event that you miss the ship’s departure. Cruise insurance will often cover costs associated with rejoining your cruise at the next port of call. One of the best cruise insurance plans on the market today is SafeCruise
Whether you’re looking for a vacation with unique beaches, dense rainforests, or bustling towns, Puerto Rico is sure to satisfy. And travel insurance can help keep you and your trip investments safe.
Looking for information on COVID-19, travel requirements and restrictions in the United States? Read more here.