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Travel Off Path has been following countries as they reopen their borders since the very beginning when Mexico became the first country to welcome back tourists

Lets face it, Mexico has become king. While we may not have the final numbers yet, I can place bets that Mexico has one of the strongest tourism recoveries going on in the world right now. 

cancun ocean front hotel on white sand beach
White Sand Beaches of Cancun, Mexico

While other countries have struggled to find balance between entry requirements (including invasive testing and long quarantines), Mexico threw open their borders and said ‘welcome back' with no COVID-19 entry requirements.

Get ready for the new kid on the block. The Dominican Republic has launched one of the best tourism promotions we've seen and they definitely make a strong case for visiting the tropical island during this crazy COVID-19 world. 

Drone view of beautiful beach on Saona island, Dominican Republic
Drone view of beautiful beach on Saona island, Dominican Republic

As of September 15th, the Dominican Republic will remove the COVID-19 PCR test requirement meaning travelers will be able to arrive at the island without any prior testing and no worries of having to quarantine.

Sound familiar? Mexico has some of the most relaxed COVID-19 entry requirements in the world and now the Dominican Republic has taken a page right out of their play book.  No invasive COVID-19 swab tests and no quarantines. 

Bavaro beach in Punta Cana. Dominican republic
Bavaro beach in Punta Cana. Dominican republic

The Dominican Republic is taking it one step further than Mexico. In an effort to persuade Americans and Canadians to visit the island instead of Mexico this year, the Dominican Republic is also throwing in free health insurance. 

Mind blown.

While most countries are either banning tourists all together or making it next to impossible, countries like Mexico and Dominican Republic are going head to head to become the tourism leader of the COVID-19 world. 

An aerial view of Puerto Vallarta bay from a parachute ride.
An aerial view of Puerto Vallarta bay from a parachute ride.

The free travel insurance covered completely by the Dominican Republic government will cover emergency health costs in the case of a traveler falling ill with COVID-19. They will even cover lodging and flight change costs that could be incurred by an infection.

Well played…well played.

Cayacoa Beach, Samaná, Dominican Republic
Cayacoa Beach, Samaná, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic will become the first country in the world to utilize COVID-19 breathalyzers at the airport. Random non-invasive breath tests for COVID-19 will be administered to select incoming travelers. 

Catalina Island, Dominican Republic
Catalina Island, Dominican Republic

The move is a huge gamble for the Dominican Republic as COVID-19 rates could skyrocket and cause strain on the health care system. Countries such as France and Spain both have seen large increases in COVID-19 cases since reopening for tourism.

Aerial view of dreams resort cancun
Aerial view of dreams resort cancun

While some countries have gone as far as locking in their own citizens such as Australia, others are completely open for business with little to no restrictions on travel such as Mexico. 

The Dominican Republic is betting on people having cabin fever this winter and looking to be the first destination that comes to mind.

The only questions now is, at what cost?

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