Puerto Rico Gears Up To Reopen

Puerto Rico tourism authorities are preparing to welcome tourists back to their island, confident that their past experience dealing with crises will help their destination’s tourism trade recover from coronavirus.

Brad Dean, head of Discover Puerto Rico, told a Wednesday, June 24 webinar that Puerto Rico will begin welcoming off-island vacationers back on July 15 after imposing tough restrictions in March aimed at preventing the arrival of visitors.

“We are eager and ready to welcome visitors back to Puerto Rico,” he said.

Webinar participants noted Puerto Rican tourism has had to contend with previous challenges, such as hurricanes and zika virus.

“We’re prepared to¬†write another amazing comeback story,” Dean continued.

Dean declared that Puerto Rico is “winning the battle against” coronavirus through the likes of social distancing, and a curfew that has been eased. The island has a four-phase recovery plan culminating in the mid-July reopening,

Currently, beaches are open, restaurants can operate at 50% capacity and masks are to be worn in public.

Some tourism businesses have reopened and others are preparing to.

Coronavirus prompted authorities to place thermal screening in airports.

Those arriving in Puerto Rico now must self-quarantine for two weeks but Dean said, “We have every expectation that will be adjusted and changed” as the reopening draws closer.

Meanwhile Dean’s colleague Leah Chandler told the webinar that lodging demand in Puerto Rico could rise faster than it will in the mainland United States.

Chandler noted her destination has been holding “virtual vacations” during the past few months that have included tips on the likes of making Puerto Rican drinks.