Stunning and energetic, the Dominican Republic is a deal-breaker country located in the Caribbean. It is a beautiful coastal country with diverse landscapes ranging from its vintage colonial architecture, pristine beaches, golf courses, national parks, and whatnot!
The Dominican Republic boasts excellent destinations best for a summer vacation. Tourists who want to relax in their warmth and luxury need to add this location to their vacation package.
Speaking of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the country was under lockdown for almost three long months. Travel of all sorts was suspended strictly.
For the first time, from July 01, the country resumed international travel. It reopened its borders with strict safety protocols in place. It is to be followed by all travel agencies, tour operators, hotels, restaurants, guides, and other officials. Similarly, tourists are also expected to oblige the rules and regulations without compromising on their luxurious vacation package.
That said, here’s what tourists need to be aware of when planning their trip to the Dominican Republic.
Like other countries, the Dominican Republic has implemented efficient safety protocols in airports. This is to ensure the safety and protection of tourists.
Needless to say, all tourists will be checked with a thermal temperature checker upon arrival as well as during departure. Travel experts suggest tourists get themselves checked for the virus and get the test certificate. It helps ease the work of health officials and keeps them on the safer side.
The Dominican Republic has pledged to take measures for treatment, and isolation procedures if any tourist shows COVID-19 symptoms or turns positive.
Besides, airport officials and authorities have been asked strictly to maintain social distancing rules. Airline employees are given adequate training concerning the same. Passengers are advised to wear masks compulsorily and use hand sanitizer whenever necessary.
Several airlines have resumed operations in this country, such as America. Tourists can visit Puerto Plata, Santiago, Punta Cana, and Santo Domingo and enjoy their vacation packages. Similarly, Dominican Airlines have resumed its flights in other destinations for travelers to visit significant destinations such as Haiti, Port-au-Prince, and other places.
The La Isabela International Airport in Santo Domingo, Cibao International Airport in Santiago, Punta Cana International Airport, and Las Américas International Airport in Punta Caucedo started to actively work from July 01.
Hotels and resorts:
The Dominican Republic undertook an inspection in hotels and resorts. The health and safety protocols enlisted are to be followed at all costs. Accommodation capacity has been reduced in many hotels up to 70%. Currently, about 27 top hotels are ready to accommodate tourists and deemed as safe. This is to avoid crowding in hotels.
More hotels are set to open up from August and September. Advance bookings help tourists have a hassle-free vacation package.
Hotel employees are given adequate training concerning the protocols and health measures to be followed. The rooms are constantly disinfected. The buffet system has been canceled and only the selected employees can handle utensils and cutlery. Chairs and furniture have been spaced with a minimum distance of 6 feet.
The Dominican Republic Ministries of Tourism and Health has urged hoteliers to ask tourists to sign a declaration of health certificate before accommodation. Temperature checks will be done to every guest at check-in and during intervals of stay. Guests are encouraged to maintain physical distancing. The authorities have taken steps to remodel hotels and resorts to increase space and avoid congestion.
Punta Cana is one of the must-see destinations in the Dominican Republic. The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino located in this destination is all set to open 1775 rooms. It is restructuring itself to become a resort that is inclusive of all facilities such as swimming pools, bars, cafés, restaurants, and not just accommodation. With strict rules in place, the hotel aims not to compromise on health protocols.
Sightseeing and tourism activities:
Destinations like Punta Cana, Puerto Rico, Santiago, and San Domingo are reopened to tourists. It is still advised to check the travel agency and tour operators beforehand for viable restrictions.
Tourists can visit the beaches in Bavaro. Puerto Plata has pledged to resume major activities from August.
To help tourists have a good vacation despite the regulations, the Dominican Republic has asked influencers and celebrities to influence local tourism. Local markets and other unnoticed destinations are expected to come to limelight. If tourism boosts in such less explored locations, it will help upscale the local revenue. Moreover, overcrowded and famous destinations like Punta Cana, Santiago, and San Domingo will be less congested.
Activities such as horse riding, zip-lining, snorkeling, scuba diving, and places such as community centers, theme parks are working with regulations put in place. Experienced guides assist tourists and locals with appropriate information.
Water sports and activities have been resumed for tourists. Companies offer fully sanitized equipment and suits required for the activities. But tourists can use their equipment if they wish. Guides are appointed at every juncture to make sure tourists maintain social distancing as well as participate and enjoy the activities.
Restaurants, bars, cafés, and spas:
The Dominican Republic has released a list of safety measures to be followed by restaurants and bars. The country has advised restaurant authorities to switch to digital in whichever way possible.
Seating capacity has been drastically reduced. Instead of menu cards, cafés,and bars have set up digital menu screens to limit the transmission of the virus. Many restaurants and spas have started their online portals. Tourists and locals can book appointments and reserve tables online. With a few clicks and QR codes, all information and restrictions concerning restaurants can be obtained.
Discotheques and bars allow a limited number of people at a time. Though events are slowly taking over the stage, social distancing is to be strictly obliged.
Tourists cannot enter bars without masks but once they get seated can remove it if they feel uncomfortable.