The most recent state to tighten its restrictions, Puerto Rico has made it mandatory for all travelers to test negative for COVID-19, no matter their vaccination status. It came as a full surprise for everyone who was out of state visiting relatives, and this decision was part of the reason vaccination and testing centers became crowded again. Besides the negative test for all travelers, there is also an active mask mandate, for all indoor and outdoor places if there are gatherings of 50 or more people: so, all people inside a supermarket would have to wear masks.
If you plan on going to Puerto Rico, all hotels and Airbnbs will ask you for proof of COVID vaccination, and keep in mind that you will not be allowed inside any restaurant unless you can show a vaccination card or a negative virus test. The state has also made it mandatory for all employees of restaurants and enclosed spaces that serve foods and drinks to be vaccinated against the virus.
All of these restrictions, as strict as they may sound, seem to be working as the state is one of the few ones that is seeing its number of confirmed new cases shrinking.
Virginia didn’t go as harsh as Puerto Rico with their restriction, but it does impact the youngest of our society and some parents are definitely not on board with their decision. The state made it universal for anyone in a K-12 school to wear a mask: child, teacher, faculty, any visitors must wear a mask to be allowed inside. They also recommended that people keep wearing their masks in public spaces, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not, but did not enforce it.
However, their new confirmed cases count is on the rise, as from one week to another we have seen them go up by approximately 28,000 cases. It is possible we may see other restrictions issued as the Omicron variant is reaching its peak.
California’s universal mask mandate is still in effect as it got extended from its initial date of January 15th to the 17th of February. This is just one of the restrictions that they have, but they did up the stakes from just recommending the masks at the end of June to just enforcing them all together in public spaces (despite certain counties having their own mask mandates in place already).
Moreover, their policy regarding what they call Mega Events has changed: it now includes any indoor gathering over 500 people over the age of two must either show proof of vaccination or a negative official test (you cannot take one by yourself to self-attest) and any outdoor gathering over 5000 people which follows the same guidelines as the indoor ones. At any of these events, masks are mandatory!
With the new case count growing from one week to the other, with over 300,000 cases, we cannot be surprised that the restrictions are becoming harsher and harsher.