Puerto Rico gets tough on tourists violating COVID norms

Published on : Friday, April 2, 2021

Puerto Rican authorities are being compelled to regulate on hostile tourists who say no to follow the preventive measures required to stop the virus spread.

This Caribbean island has experienced resurgence in tourism of late, majorly from the U.S. mainland, which is a blessing for the local economy. However, that visitor rush has led to a rise in violent incidents with tourists who are not wearing masks.

Additional police patrols have been assigned since mid-March to all the important tourist areas like Old San Juan, Condado and Santurce and implement midnight curfew in the island. As the new rules were enacted, 27 arrests have been made in the “tourist zones” for rebellious conduct and drug possession.

Few of the happenings that led to the new enforcement have grabbed national headline. A tourist threw a drink in the face of a woman in a wheelchair in February who asked the tourists to wear masks.

Police are taking stricter measures to get tourists to obey with the restriction rules. For instance, they are reminding tourists of the island’s midnight to 5 a.m. curfew. In addition, those who say no to wear masks will be fined $100.

In 2021, a great number of visitors to Puerto Rico have come from the U.S. so far. Of almost 12,000 flights to land on the island in 2021, 82% have arrived from the States.

Puerto Rico side by side is all prepared for a rush of spring breakers pouring in from the mainland U.S. Over 3,500 officers will be stationed around tourist areas and the National Guard will station around 1,100 active soldiers around the island who will be tasked with enforcing the mask and curfew orders.

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