Both the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico have been popular destinations for a beach escape throughout the pandemic thanks to cheap flights to each island and no testing required to fly back to the mainland. And now it's getting even easier to visit as both territories relax entry requirements.
Effective today, March 10, Puerto Rico has dropped all its entry requirements for Americans arriving from the mainland U.S. Regardless of vaccination status, that means no more proof of vaccination or even a negative COVID-19 test is required to get in. And the island is even dropping its indoor and outdoor mask mandates for local businesses and public areas.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Virgin Islands dropped their own entry testing requirements – but only for fully vaccinated travelers. Previously, all domestic travelers 5 and older needed a negative PCR or rapid antigen test result taken no more than five days before travel.
Unvaccinated travelers will still need to provide a test result to enter the U.S. Virgin Islands, but those with proof of full vaccination are now exempt.
Both the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico were already relatively accessible for U.S. travelers during the pandemic, with no return testing required for Americans heading home and no passport required, either. Data from Airlines for America shows that trips to both territories have kept pace with pre-pandemic levels – and in the case of the U.S. Virgin Islands, trips were up 14% in February 2022 compared to February 2019.
These changes only make that case stronger. Now, those looking for a Caribbean getaway can do so without any test at all.
Puerto Rico enforced its vaccination and masking mandates seriously over the past few months of the pandemic. Relaxing those guidelines will also make it much easier to enter bars, restaurants, and other establishments on the island.
Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands both pulled back on entry requirements this week, with Puerto Rico dropping nearly every COVID-19 restriction altogether.
It makes travel to the U.S. territories even easier than it was, with no COVID-19 testing required in either direction for most travelers from the mainland.