May 2022

May Jurisdictional Update – Puerto Rico

COVID-19 Updates

From Alberto Estrella, representing Estrella, LLC, Puerto Rico:

We are a territory of the US, so just about everything that applies to the US applies to us here. The one thing slightly different here is we still have a mask mandate for all forms of transportation which included airports (not air travel, which is subject to US rules and regulations).

We had a negative covid test requirement and registration for anyone flying to Puerto Rico, including self-quarantine and further testing. However, these requirements were lifted at the end of March. It is no longer required to bring in a negative COVID-19 test—it has pretty much opened up, and masks are no longer mandated. Tests are voluntary except for transportation—so buses, taxis, Ubers, etc., are required to wear masks, as well as health facilities. Other than that, it’s completely up to the businesses to decide whether they’re required or not.

One small hiccup took place recently. Our local department of health issued a requirement which seemed to impose fines if businesses did not require masks. That was quickly rescinded because it was outdated and conflicted with the Governor’s executive orders.

Tourism travel has increased significantly in Puerto Rico, and we look forward this year to start ramping up some of the delayed post-hurricane, post-earthquake reconstruction on the island.

We are also coming out of a bankruptcy. This is the largest bankruptcy in the US—larger than Detroit. The reorganization plan of the Commonwealth was approved, and a couple additional smaller plans related to the public entities were approved. This is really positive news. Our government is pushing really hard on creating attractive tax exemptions for high net worth individuals and companies who would like to set up business in PR.

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