Faced with concerns about the Covid-19 outbreaks registered in some municipalities, which began with passengers from the United States, several agency heads met yesterday with the Secretary of the Department of Health to draw up recommendations on how the government it must proceed to control the entry into the country of travelers who may be infected.
Said recommendations will be evaluated by Governor Wanda Vázquez, who is preparing to disclose the new executive order to address the coronavirus crisis and which will take effect on the 1st. of July. These measures would serve as a preamble to the increase in operations at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport and other airports where more tourists will start arriving as of July 15.
“We are evaluating various options. The first is for travelers to bring the results of a molecular test (Covid-19) that is no older than 72 hours. The other is that the passenger undergo a quarantine upon arrival in Puerto Rico and the other is that, once they arrive, they will be tested here, "explained Health Secretary Lorenzo González to EL VOCERO.
He mentioned that in the case of the 14-day quarantine, it must be taken into account that many people who travel to the Island only do it for three to five days, so all options had to be well analyzed .
González specified that during the meeting the Secretary of the State Department, Elmer Román; Carla Campos, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (CTPR); the National Guard, the Ports Authority and the non-profit organization Foundation for Puerto Rico.
“We are evaluating the measures that have been used in other jurisdictions such as Alaska and Hawaii. We are going to make recommendations to the governor on how we can prepare this logistics at airports and be able to identify those travelers arriving in the country, "said the Health Minister.
González explained that the number of passengers currently being received at the airport Muñoz Marín is around 500 to 1,000 per day. However, once the doors to tourism are reopened on July 15, the arrival of 4,000 to 6,000 daily passengers is expected. also implement the use of the digital application Sara Alert, which allows people to enter their data with the symptoms they identify daily. This information can be seen by Health personnel in real time. Sara Alert is a federal initiative that is open to all local and state jurisdictions so that health agencies can monitor Covid-19 and identify sources of infection.
She added that, together with the Director of Tourism, she also seeks to ensure that tourists, prior to traveling to the Island, make a traveler declaration and thus streamline the process of entering the Country.
“Many of the visitors we receive are family members of people here in Puerto Rico. That is why it is important that we ask those who visit us from the United States to take the tests (of Covid-19) before traveling to avoid more contagions in the homes, "said González.
On the other hand, the secretary of Salud mentioned that it is in constant communication with municipalities such as Ciales, Canóvanas, Guayanilla and San Germán to work collaboratively in the event of incidents by Covid-19.