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Puerto Rico will require Covid-19 test results from visitors

CNN logo CNN 7/3/2020 By Mallika Kallingal and Joe Sutton, CNN
a group of people sitting on a bench: Tourists snap photos of the El Yunque National Rain Forest before the coronavirus pandemic in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. © Angel Valentin/Getty Images Tourists snap photos of the El Yunque National Rain Forest before the coronavirus pandemic in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico will have some stringent new rules for people traveling to the island amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced said she will sign an executive order that, among other things, will require visitors to provide a negative Covid-19 test result produced within 72 hours of arrival.

"I want Puerto Ricans living in the US mainland to safely come to our island and visit their family members without fear of spreading this virus or infecting a love one," Vázquez said in a statement. "I want tourists and everyone visiting Puerto Rico to feel safe."

Under the executive order, visitors would also need to wear face coverings and observe proper social distancing measures at three airports: Luis Muñoz Marín International, Rafael Hernández International Airport and Mercedita International Airport.

The governor said the order will go into effect on July 15.

The order will also state that if a visitor is unable to bring a negative test result, they will be required to go through the screening process and further tests at the airport and follow quarantine procedures.

There will be exemptions. Aviation mechanics, flight crew members, activated military, federal agents, or others authorized by the Secretary of Health may be excluded from the tests and quarantine.

However, everyone must complete the travel declarations for proper follow-up and monitoring by the Department of Health and comply with protocols and requests for information.

"As we move forward with the orderly and safe reopening of our economy, we will continue to implement the necessary measures to avoid the spread of this virus," Vázquez said.

Tourism is one of Puerto Rico's leading industries. And officials say it's their priority to ensure there are protections in place for tourists and residents during the pandemic.

"I want our island prepared, as we continue to face this new COVID-19 reality," Vázquez said.

a person walking on a beach: Tourists on the beach in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, before the coronavirus pandemic. © Ricardo Arduengo/AFP/Getty Images Tourists on the beach in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, before the coronavirus pandemic. a group of people standing in front of a building: Tourist visit El Morro fort in San Juan just before the coronavirus pandemic. © Ricardo Arduengo/AFP/Getty Images Tourist visit El Morro fort in San Juan just before the coronavirus pandemic.
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