Starting March 10, travelers heading to Puerto Rico on a domestic flight won't be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.
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A popular tourist beach front restaurant in Pinones in Loiza, Puerto Rico
Credit: Ricardo Arduengo/Getty Images

Puerto Rico will eliminate all pandemic-related border protocols for domestic travelers this week, opening the door to much easier travel between the island territory and mainland United States.

Starting March 10, travelers heading to Puerto Rico on a domestic flight won't be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, nor will they be required to complete a travel declaration form before their trip, according to Discover Puerto Rico, the island's destination marketing organization.

"Traveling to Puerto Rico is becoming easier as the Island continues to lead vaccination efforts and contagion rates continue to decrease,'' Brad Dean, the CEO of Discover Puerto Rico, said in a statement. "Today's announcement lifting entry requirements for domestic travelers and reducing restrictions on Island, will bring a new travel experience to those visiting. As the pandemic evolves, so will our efforts surrounding the health and safety of visitors and residents."

In addition to new entry protocols, the island will eliminate the requirement that people show proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter businesses like hotels and restaurants, but individual venues will be allowed to implement their own rules.

The island, which boasts one of the highest vaccination rates in the country at 81.7%, will also lift its mask mandate, instead simply recommending masks be worn.

The new travel rules are an expansion of the island's decision to ease some restrictions earlier this year when officials eliminated a pre-arrival testing requirement for vaccinated travelers and allowed unvaccinated travelers to skip quarantine if they arrived with proof of a negative test taken within the past two days.

While the rules are changing for domestic visitors, international travelers who fly to a U.S. territory must still show proof of a negative test taken within one day of their departure. American travelers heading back to a U.S. state after visiting Puerto Rico are exempt from the testing requirement.

Puerto Rico isn't alone in dropping COVID-19-related travel restrictions. In the U.S., Hawaii plans to end its Safe Travels program for domestic visitors later this month, and several cities have lifted vaccine mandates on indoor spaces like bars and restaurants, including New York City and Los Angeles.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.