Puerto Rico Officials Urge Visitors to Heed COVID-19 Restrictions

Puerto Rico government and tourism officials are urging tourists in the destination to follow the island’s stringent COVID-19 preventive measures, after “many” visitors were found at unspecified beaches on the island this week.

In a statement, Carla Campos, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC) said “On [March 16], it became evident that many tourists were not yet aware” that Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced’s earlier-issued executive order mandates “aggressive” anti-coronavirus measures that require “residents and visitors stay indoors and avoid social gatherings for the extent of the lockdown, currently set to end on March 30.”

“Police provided orientation to many visitors found visiting beaches,” Campos said. “PRTC responded promptly, implementing a local communication strategy aimed at informing visitors from abroad who are currently staying on the island,” she said.

“We want guests visiting Puerto Rico during this time to know that we realize that this global health emergency has put a dent in their travel plans, and that our priority is to keep our residents and visitors healthy and safe,” Campos said.

“The World Tourism Organization calls for responsible travel at this time, and in Puerto Rico we are encouraging responsible travel by inviting visitors to comply with the terms of the lockdown and helping be part of the solution,” Campos added. “By staying home or in your hotel room today, we will all be able to travel tomorrow.”

PRTC is also working with Discover Puerto Rico, the Island’s destination marketing organization, on “an outreach strategy to provide accurate information to media outlets and partners abroad,” officials said. Updated travel guidance for travelers is posted on the organization’s website.

PRTC officials are also encouraging current visitors to return to Puerto Rico “when the destination is ready to host again” by offering vacationers whose travels “have been interrupted by the local measures put in place” complimentary excursions to be used upon their return.

“We regret that during this global health emergency the destination is unable to showcase all the richness and diversity it has to offer and that many visitors have had to cut their trip short,” Campos said.

“We want visitors to know that Puerto Rico is at the forefront of global recovery efforts, and that these aggressive measures will ensure that the destination will once again be open for tourism in record-breaking time.”

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