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Friday, June 21, 2024
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Covid Test to Enter Puerto Rico: Another Asinine Policy

Covid Test Puerto Rico is part of The Lost & Found Year(s): COVID Trip Report where TPOL has been right about everything Covid from the outset (see Travel Or Stay Inside? TPOL’s Thoughts on Coronavirus written 2/26/21).


I thought The Lost & Found Year(s): COVID Trip Report was finally over. That is not the case. Instead of learning the lessons from a year of lockdown, Puerto Rico is getting dumber. Here is the latest measure from the incompetents that run this island.

As of December 27th, 2021, all passengers arriving on domestic flights are required to show a negative test result taken within 48 hours before arrival time, regardless of vaccination status. Passengers arriving without a test will have 48 hours to take one upon arrival or be subject to a fine.

From the beginning of Covid, I have maintained that travel bans do not work (see Describe Trump’s Travel Ban: It’s Stupid). I still hold this position because there is no keeping out the virus. If it’s identified a continent away, it’s already in our backyard. Simultaneously, Covid testing before going to a destination is pointless (see COVID Test for Return Travel Is Stupid), especially when I am trying to come home (COVID Test to Come Home Is S-T-U-). The argument that I could infect someone if I’m positive, even if asymptomatic, carried weight in 2020 when there weren’t vaccines.

So why does the Puerto Rican, an island with a vaccination rate, of 77% now require anyone coming to show proof of a negative test? The uninformed will say that cases are up with the omicron variant. Again, this is not 2020. Cases do not matter. Hospitalizations matter. I have yet to see a study that says that those arriving from another destination are more likely to infect people or spur on infections than those who are already there and already spreading the virus. At the same time, it is laughable that this restriction starts on December 27th. What happens between now and then? Obviously, those who come before then may be infected with omicron and their numbers could be in the thousands given the holiday season.

As usual, the restrictions punish those that are here after the holiday travelers leave (see Another Useless Puerto Rico Lockdown). Our rights continue to be restricted (see Puerto Rico’s Coronavirus Crackdown: Justified Or Unconstitutional?). Despite being isolated, vaccinated, boosted, the situation isn’t improving. It continues to get worse. While I blame the anti-vaccinated imbeciles for not taking their medicine and the greed of Western countries for not sharing the vaccine with poorer countries, I am also upset with the countless Paul Blart Mall Cops who bark at me to wear a mask 24/7. What is the point of wearing a mask while walking out of an outdoor restaurant? Why are people wearing masks while driving alone in their cars? Why are so many wearing a mask while walking alone on the beach? Meanwhile, the mask police are wearing a piece of cloth that offers no protection while interacting with countless people or they’re wearing a mask that is wrapped around their chins.

It’s time to take back our country from the clueless leaders who run it and it is time to stop empowering their minions who think they are epidemiologists from giving advice about how to live. I never thought I would look to the Master Insurrectionis for advice but it’s time to heed his words: “Don’t let Covid dominate your life.” Then again, it’s not 2020.

a graph showing a number of vaccinations

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15 COMMENTS

  1. Well said. There aren’t enough people taking issue with these policies who are informed, pro-science, pro-vaccine. The ignorant who refuses to acknowledge the epidemic or take any public health precautions at all are allowed to speak for everyone and anyone who may remotely dissent with any suggestions from the establishment.

    More people agree with you (and me) than we think, but as with many topics in modern society, social pressure is used to keep quiet dissenters for fear of being labeled someone who doesn’t care.

    Keep it up.

  2. This used to be a reasonable point, but sadly Omicron has a strong ability to evade vaccines. I currently have more than 20 friends and acquaintances who have Covid, all of whom have been vaccinated and boosted. So you can’t say that vaccination is good enough. Instead, because vaccines do appear to have extraordinary efficacy in reducing the symptoms, the key question is whether it matters (beyond passing the test) whether you get Covid in the first place. That’s the debate that needs to be had. Nobody worries about testing for flu before travelling, even though flu can also be a killer.

    • It’s not a cure. People will get infected. Will it prevent death or serious illness? If somehow it doesn’t, then we’re back to square one. But I’ll be optimistic and assume that it does based on what other countries have experienced.

  3. The policy is not about you and all the people who want to travel to PR. It’s about trying to protect the healthcare system in PR and prevent a total collapse. Yes, cases are already there. But, without further testing, there would be even more people going and more cases, it could potentially overwhelm the healthcare system and all the people living there. After almost 2 years of all these, haven’t we learnt this is not about points and the ease of travel… it’s actually about protecting people’s lives and the worst case scenario. We have the luxury to travel and we can leave. We have to remember local people with fewer resources could be stuck with our problems and they can’t leave. Having a test before travel is the least we can do… even if that means only cutting a few more cases.

    • Where has the investment in infrastructure been for anything here? Everything is always on the brink of collapse because of failed leadership, yet its the people who are asked to make sacrifices. Come next hurricane season, they’ll still be talking about how fragile the electric grid is.

      • If you want to make a political statement about PR leadership, go ahead and feel free to say that out loud in any political blog. It’s your freedom to do so. Here, you are mixing your political views with testing requirements and are being careless with people’s lives. If testing can prevent even one infested person from going to PR, that’s worth it. Are you as a travel blogger suggest we should let all COVID related rules to go away just because it’s an inconvenience or will cost you an extra $100 to get a test or that you don’t like the leadership there? You are arguing because it’s not 100% effective, we shouldn’t do it. I am saying even if testing prevents 1% of cases, we should absolutely do it because we should care as a travel community and we shouldn’t bring more problems to PR. Don’t be selfish and complain about other peoples’ rules. Remember, US has the highest COVID death toll in the world today, over 800,000 and counting. You may not care about the loss of American lives. But I hate to say this to you… perhaps, other people around the world may just care a bit more about their people’s lives and don’t give a damn whether you like testing or not.

  4. Ugh specifically picked PR to visit over February break because it is domestic so shouldn’t have to jump through hoops. Testing a fully vaccinated family of 4 is a waste of $ and time.

    • The vaccine does reduce the spread – but I concur vaccinated people can still acquire and spread COVID. But what does this new policy do? I can get tested 48 hours before I leave or up to 48 hours after I land. So if I’m negative 48 hours before travel I can still be positive by the time I travel OR I can travel while positive and find out 48 hours after I land. Also if I don’t take one I may be subject to a fine – so can roll the dice / shell out $ if that isn’t a concern. I’m all for vaccination requirements on travel and masks in crowded indoor spaces – but have an issue with excessive testing. Some countries we were looking at we’d have to take up to 3 tests EACH (12 tests total) to go on vacation for a week (before leaving, upon arrival, before returning)

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