November 25, 2020

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Hopeful government in travelers goodwill




The development of the platform that the government of Puerto Rico will use to collect information on passengers arriving in Puerto Rico is at 85% of its development, General José Reyes, general aide to the [this Thursday] assured. National Guard of Puerto Rico (GNPR).

“That application is daily interconnected with the application that the Health Department will use to track those passengers who do not present their molecular test, their result of negative laboratory ”Reyes explained in an interview with El Nuevo Día.

The platform is developed by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (CTPR) in conjunction with Aerostar, the company that manages the Luis Muñoz International Airport Marín, while the mobile application Health would use for tracking is Sara Alert, which is used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. [1 9659004] Although travelers will be required to present a diagnostic test with a negative result performed during the last 72 hours prior to travel, the state government does not have the authority to deny entry to a traveler who fails to submit a negative test result.

"As a territory, Puerto Rico does not have that power because air traffic is controlled by the President of the United States in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief and is delegated to the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration)" acknowledged Reyes .

"Puerto Rico as a territory can establish sanitation measures and that is what the various executive orders have done, continue to increase sanitation measures," he said. The new measures will take effect on July 15.

Once the application is ready, the government will share it with airlines and air ticket sales platforms, the adjutant general explained. The idea is that when buying the ticket, the person completes the information that will be required, such as the full name, residence address, address where they can be reached in Puerto Rico, telephone, email, among other information. .

At the airport, the traveler –whether a tourist or a resident– will be asked for the negative result of the diagnostic test. If not presented, the person will be required to comply with a 14-day quarantine and to go to perform the molecular test in a laboratory in Puerto Rico and Salud will begin the search. With a negative result, the quarantine would be lifted. Through the Sara Alert application, Salud will send daily messages to the person, with questions such as if they have symptoms related to COVID-19 . "What the executive order requires is that the person respond to those messages," Reyes said. If the person does not answer the messages, Health will communicate by phone.

If he does not answer the calls either, "the next thing is that the (Health) Department will come to visit you accompanied by the Police, to see why not you are being part of that trace or if you are indeed violating that trace, "explained the adjutant general. A violation of the executive order can carry a fine of up to $ 5,000 or up to six months in prison.

All of the above is in theory.

“To think that 6,000 daily passengers arriving in Puerto Rico can personally monitor each One of them, when I multiply it by 14 days –which is the quarantine period– is 84,000 people. There are not 84,000 shackles, there are not 84,000 police officers to give this monitoring 24 hours, 7 days a week ”Reyes acknowledged. “So we appeal to the conscience of our people, to the responsibility of our people, which has demonstrated this for the past 100 days.”

The government also appeals to the conscience of the hotels, hostels and hotel owners that rent its services through platforms such as Airbnb.

"The responsibility to comply with this executive order is as important for the passenger as for the person receiving it," Reyes said.

He also indicated that, while the new measures come into force and logistics develops, commercial flights will continue to arrive only through the Luis Muño Marín International Airport. Initially, commercial flights through Rafael Hernández Airport in Aguadilla and Mercedita in Ponce would be resumed on July 6, but that was delayed until August, the adjutant general indicated.

At 6:00 a.m. Today, the number of medical screenings performed at Luis Muñoz Marín was 295,545, since they started on March 16, Reyes reported. But in terms of tests, since April 17 only 33,042 travelers have undergone serological examination – with 625 positive results – and only 1,614 have undergone molecular or diagnostic tests. Of the latter, the Adjutant General indicated that less than 3% have produced a positive result.



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