COVID protocol dodgers nabbed by Puerto Rico police

COVID protocol dodgers nabbed by Puerto Rico police

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A couple accused of refusing to fill out the required COVID-19 entry form at Puerto Rico’s airport and providing proof of a negative test for the coronavirus were detained after they locked themselves in their minivan for several hours, prompting police to send a negotiator, officials said Wednesday.

The couple detained late Tuesday were accused of obstructing a public official and could face a hefty fine or up to six months in prison.

They arrived in Puerto Rico Jan. 2 and had been ordered to appear in court on Tuesday. When they didn’t show up, authorities searched for them and found them inside a minivan in the northern city of Caguas.

A small number of protesters showed up to support the couple and threatened several journalists, who then left.

The island of 3.3 million people has reported more than 221,600 confirmed infections and more than 3,300 deaths. Given a recent spike in COVID-19 cases, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi has implemented more restrictions, including requiring all those traveling to Puerto Rico to present a negative test upon arrival regardless of their vaccination status.