As we count down the days until cruise ships can sail from the United States once more, cruisers are turning to other getaways to satisfy their wanderlust and for many, escape the cold and snow of winter. The Dominican Republic is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the Caribbean, seeing millions of visitors every year. If you’re an avid cruiser, you’ve probably visited the sunny skies and swaying palms of Amber Cove in Puerto Plata before and know firsthand how gorgeous the island can be. The good news for travelers is the Dominican Republic is open for tourism, but there are a few travel restrictions to consider before you book your trip.
Are COVID-19 Tests Required to Visit the Dominican Republic?
Unlike some other parts of the Caribbean, most travelers do not need to present a negative COVID-19 test prior to traveling to the Dominican Republic. However, travelers from the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) do need to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of their travel. Those who have visited the United Kingdom within two weeks prior to travel to the Dominican Republic also need to provide proof of a negative test.
When you arrive in the country, airport officials will administer temperature checks and rapid breath tests to a small percentage of those over the age of five who get off the plane. Travelers are also required to fill out a Traveler’s Health Affidavit affirming that they haven’t had symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection in the past 72 hours along with providing their contact details for the next 30 days.
Travelers can also complete an E-ticket which combines the Traveler’s Health Affidavit, Customs Declaration and International Embarkation/Disembarkation information in a single online form. Beginning April 1, 2021, the E-ticket will be required for all travelers.
Free Health Care Plan
The country is also offering a free health care plan to all international tourists arriving on commercial flights and staying at a hotel. The plan provides coverage for emergencies in the event of an infection or exposure to COVID-19 while in-country. The coverage includes medical attention by specialists, medical transfers, transfer of a relative, penalty for airfare changes, lodging for prolonged stays and more. In order to obtain coverage of the health plan, the tourist must enter the country exclusively by air on and prior to March 31, 2021 and only applies for guests staying at a hotel.
Returning to the United States from the Dominican Republic
As of January, all international travelers entering the United States need to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of their travel date. The new rules were set forth by the Center’s for Disease Control and Prevention and apply to U.S. citizens and foreign visitors as well. As a result of the CDC’s new rules, the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism began offering COVID-19 rapid anitgen testing to all tourists staying in hotels in the country at no cost to the visitor. Guests also have the option to take a PCR test for a small fee. The tests are administered by health professionals on-site at the hotel.
“The Dominican Republic continues to be committed to offering a safe tourist experience, both for those who visit us and for all Dominicans who participate in the industry’s productive chain. For this reason, we are continuously revising the measures to offer our visitors the necessary facilities they may need to enjoy their vacation and return home with a peace of mind,” said David Collado, Minister of Tourism of the Dominican Republic.
Are you planning a trip to the Dominican Republic? Let us know in the comments!