INFORMATION ON CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

INFORMATION UPDATED AS OF OCTOBER 18, 2020:

  • Entry Requirements: Aligning with the launch of the Responsible Tourism Recovery Plan on September 15th, travelers no longer need to provide a negative PCR or COVID-19 test upon arrival. Instead, airports and other ports of entry will administer a quick, aleatory breath test to between 3% and 10% of passengers, and all those who present symptoms, upon arrival. All passengers will also need to perform a temperature check. Passengers who present symptoms or whose test results are positive will be isolated and attended at authorized locations. Prior to departure, travelers should confirm with their airline provider and airport of origin regarding any testing or other related requirements for inbound flights to the Dominican Republic, or necessary requirements needed upon arrival in their country of origin. 
  • Traveler’s Health Affidavit: As part of the immigration and customs forms provided by the airline or by Dominican authorities, passengers will be required to fill out and submit a Traveler’s Health Affidavit. Through this form, passengers declare they have not felt any COVID-19 related symptoms in the last 72 hours and provide contact details for the next 30 days.
  • Travel Assistance Plan: All international tourists arriving on commercial flights and visiting a hotel will be granted during the check-in process a temporary, free travel assistance plan that 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. This insurance will be provided at no cost to visitors arriving on or before December 31, 2020 and will be 100% paid for by the Dominican government. In order to obtain coverage of the assistance plan the tourist must enter the country exclusively by air and only applies  for guests staying at a hotel. For more information or to receive assistance while in the country in the event of exposure, please contact the Seguros Reservas Assistance Line by dialing +1 809 476 3232 so that a representative can determine the appropriate course of action on a case by case basis. For additional details regarding what is and is not covered by the policy, click HERE
  • Social Distancing: Airport terminals have established guidelines requiring social distancing as well as the mandatory use of face masks for employees and passengers.  Outside of the airports, social distancing of at least 6.5 feet (2 meters) and the use of face masks in public places are required for the general and traveling public within indoor spaces and in areas where social distancing is not possible. These locations include but are not limited to airport terminals, within indoor and outdoor shopping areas, while using public transportation, when seeking medical attention within a hospital or clinic, among others. Social distancing is also required at the beach, and within pool and jacuzzi areas. The maximum group size allowed is 10 people. Facial masks are optional for adults at the beach area, and not recommended for children. All equipment, including life jackets, snorkel, kayaks, pedal boats, etc. will be disinfected after each use. Please contact your hotel, preferred restaurant or tour operator for specific details regarding their protocols.  

COVID-19 HEALTH RISK MANAGEMENT PROTOCOL

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TRAVELER’S HEALTH AFFIDAVIT

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  • To control the outbreak of COVID-19 in country, until November 11, there is an established curfew in place from 9:00 pm to 5:00 am from Monday to Friday and from 7:00 pm to 5:00 am on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the country. While hotel guests will not be required to follow these guidelines within their resort property, they will be limited to stay within the property during the associated hours. During this timeline, authorities will allow the transit of international visitors and vehicle operators who transport them, as well as properly identified employees of maritime and air transport companies, if they are moving to / from a port or airport. Hotel employees and suppliers can also transit freely while exercising work related activities.
  • On July 1, the country reactivated its tourism operation by opening its borders by land, sea and air. The measures include:
    • Reactivation of commercial flights to and from the country’s airports.
    • Hotels restarted operations with the use of contact-free technologies and strict protocols to offer a clean, safe environment and promote social distancing.
    • Activities in bars and clubs remain suspended as well as national and international events and public, cultural, artistic and sports shows.
    • It is mandatory to keep social distancing and  wear face masks in all public spaces, such as banks, supermarkets and offices, among others.
  • Public transportation operates with modified schedules, with at least 1.5 meters of separation between users and a 60% limited capacity. Bus services (OMSA), Santo Domingo subway (Metro) and the Cable Car operate from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm from Monday to Friday and from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. The Cable Car operates from 8am to 6pm on Sundays.
  • Private transportation companies, malls and gambling companies are operating normally on the allowed working hours, except for casinos. All commercial establishments operating on closed environments must assure a separation of 1.5 meters between clients and the mandatory use of face masks, as well as the compliance of new sanitary measures announce by Public Health officials.
  • National Parks, Natural Monuments, Scientific Reserves and Ecological Parks are open from Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, with the following safety protocols: Permanent use of face masks, parents must accompany children under 14 years of age, continuous hand washing, staying overnight is not allowed, bathing in rivers and lagoons is prohibited, groups larger than 5 people are not allowed.
  • Indoor gyms are open with strict sanitary protocols. The Western border is closed by land, except for the transportation of merchandises. Religious services are permitted with a reduced number of attendees.
  • Restaurants, liquor stores, community stores and any other commercial establishment must operate depending on the curfew times established to their community. Restaurant employees or contractors providing home delivery may circulate until 11:00 P.M. during the curfew exclusively in the exercise of their job duties. Some restrictions such as restaurant hours do not apply to hotels. For more information contact the hotel directly.
  • The use of public pools, lakes and rivers has been temporarily banned at a nation-wide level. Beaches remain open, while still practicing social distancing. Parks are open for recreational and exercise purposes.
  • Dominican Republic has a robust health care system that has been able to quickly detect cases of COVID-19 in the country. For more information about the coronavirus in Dominican Republic, please visit the Ministry of Public Health’s website. (https://www.msp.gob.do/web/) or download the COVID-RD mobile phone application, available on the App Store and Google Play, that works as a passport in which, through a QR code, visitors can report their condition and access many services and information.
  • For MITUR, the well-being and safety of visitors remains a priority, so it will continue to work in coordination with the other relevant authorities to further strengthen the country’s preventive measures against coronavirus. For more information visit https://drtravelcenter.com

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: 

How can I reduce my chances of contracting COVID-19?

General measures to protect against respiratory diseases include:

  • Frequently clean your hands (wash them with soap and water or alcohol solutions), especially after direct contact with sick people or their environment.
  • Avoid contact with people with signs of a respiratory illness, such as coughing or sneezing.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when you cough or sneeze, and then wash your hands.

These measures also help protect you against frequent illnesses like the flu.

What should I do if I suspect I have COVID-19?

If you suspect that you have symptoms of COVID-19, the United States Center for Disease Control advises you to take the following steps:

  • Stay in your home or hotel room and call the doctor before going for a medical visit.
  • Avoid contact with other people and animals.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Cover your mouth or nose with a disposable tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid sharing personal items with others.
  • Clean all high-contact surfaces every day.
  • Monitor your symptoms.

What are the symptoms of the coronavirus?

The most common symptoms are fever, cough, and feeling short of breath. In some cases, there may also be digestive symptoms like diarrhea and abdominal pain. Symptoms can be aggravated in vulnerable individuals such as the elderly or people with compromised immune systems, among others.

Where can I get information about the coronavirus?

Information on COVID-19 can be found on the websites of different official organizations. Our recommendations are as follows:

DR Travel Center

INFORMATION UPDATED AS OF JULY 1, 2020:

Dominican Republic Announces Protocols for the Reactivation of Tourism

Dominican Republic – July 1, 2020 – The Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism (MITUR) announced the safety protocols to be followed by all tourism operators and establishments to help ensure the health of tourists and locals alike. The documents, which can be downloaded from the Ministry’s website (www.GoDominicanRepublic.com) detail the precautions and additional security measures that will be put into practice starting July 1, the date on which tourism is reactivated.

“The measures contained in the protocols are the result of extensive work and coordination between government and private entities,” said Minister of Tourism Francisco Javier García. “All safety measures conform to the recommendations of the World Health Organization and aim to ensure the safety of all those who participate in tourism, from service providers to visitors. Our guiding principle is to generate a framework and tools to offer unforgettable tourist experiences in accordance with the most rigorous standards in the industry,” said Minister García.

In an effort to ensure safe and efficient air travel to the country, additional protocols will be implemented at airports. This begins with upon arrival, all passengers will have their temperature checked as they disembark the plane. If a passenger registers a temperature above 100.6 °F degrees (38 °C) or presents any other symptoms, airport authorities will administer a rapid COVID-19 test and initiate the protocols for isolation and treatment of the case. In addition, airport terminals have established guidelines requiring social distancing as well as the mandatory use of face masks for employees and passengers. As part of immigration and customs forms provided by the airline or by Dominican authorities, passengers will be required to fill out and submit a Traveler’s Health Affidavit. Through this form, passengers declare they have not felt any COVID-19 related symptoms in the last 72 hours and provide contact details for the next 30 days.

The measures and regulations include, but are not limited to:

HOTELS

  • Taking the temperature of each guest at check-in and having them sign a declaration of health
  • Providing guests with masks and disinfectant gel
  • Redistribution of hotel spaces to maintain distance in all common areas (reception, restaurants, swimming pools, )
  • Baggage disinfection
  • Elimination of self-serve food and beverage, so that utensils are handled only by establishment personnel
  • Special protocols for the care and isolation of guests with symptoms

BARS

  • Cleaning and disinfecting all tables between one client and another
  • Biweekly COVID-19 tests for all work personnel
  • Capacity is limited to 35% to guarantee ample distance between customers
  • Customers must wear a mask to enter any premise, but they can elect to remove it once seated at their table
  • Antibacterial gel dispensers will be placed in all bars, in places easily accessible to customers

RESTAURANTS

  • Distance of at least two meters between tables and a limit of ten diners per table
  • Implementation of digital menus, disposable printed menus or other options that reduce physical contact
  • Use of food disinfectants for produce consumed raw
  • Frequent disinfection of all surfaces that employees or customers touch frequently

MARITIME TRANSPORT AND AQUATIC SPORTS

  • Taking the temperature of every passenger prior to boarding any excursion transportation
  • Thoroughly sanitizing all equipment used by customers (tanks, masks, paddles, etc.) before and after use
  • All boats will be sanitized before and after each use
  • Maintaining established safety distance throughout the activity

OTHER RECREATIONAL AND TOURISM ACTIVITIES

  • These guidelines apply to horseback riding, sightseeing, zip lines, theme parks and paintball
  • Reduction of vehicle occupancy to 50% to guarantee safe distances between clients
  • Use of masks inside all vehicles
  • Preparation of one-way routes to avoid crossing paths with other groups
  • Sanitization of all surfaces and equipment that customers come into contact with (reins, harnesses, helmets, vests, )

The entities in charge of supervising the compliance of these protocols are the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Public Health. In addition, in the case of hotels, a certification program has been established through the creation of a Quality Council headed by the National Association of Hotels and Tourism (ASONAHORES) that will guarantee that establishments comply with the regulations, which will provide visitors with a sense of security and trust.