Puerto Rico requires COVID-19 vaccination for guests staying at hotels and rentals

 Wednesday, August 18, 2021 

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Puerto Rico issues a mandate for requiring mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for all guests of hotels and short-term rentals. It is a part of a wider move to control a sudden increase in COVID-19 cases blamed largely on the Delta variant. Puerto Rico is a prominent tourist hot spots gathered mostly by leisure tourists and millennials. This Caribbean island is now trying to bounce back its tourism business in post COVID-19 time.  

As of Monday Aug. 16, the vaccinations are also required for all hotel employees, government contractors, and workers at health facilities, including laboratories and senior care centers.

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi said that the government cannot lower its guard. Vaccination is one and only solution to flight against COVID-19. People who refuse to get inoculated will be required to submit a weekly negative COVID-19 test. The violators will face up to a $5,000 fine or six months in jail, with few exceptions.

Pierluisi previously announced that all government employees who work in-person would need to be fully vaccinated, also effective August 16.

The additional requirements come as Puerto Rico reports an 11% transmission rate this month, compared with a 1.4% rate reported in late June.

Carlos Mellado, Puerto Rico’s health secretary, said the majority of cases are being driven by the delta variant. He noted that 20% of current hospitalizations are people who have already received two vaccine doses and added that the government will not issue health certificates unless proof of vaccination is submitted.

The U.S. territory of 3.3 million people has reported more than 128,000 confirmed cases and more than 2,500 deaths. Some 76% of people have received at least one dose.

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