Looking for an affordable, easily accessible and tranquil Caribbean destination with few COVID restrictions to escape to over winter?
The Dominican Republic is still a safe bet for visitors regardless of the new Omicron scare.
One of the few destinations that have continued to welcome all tourists from the United States and Canada, the Hispaniola nation and its tourism sector do not seem to be heavily affected by the most recent developments in the pandemic.
DR Tourism Will Not Face Another “Slowdown” Despite Omicron
According to Rafael Blanco Tejera, president of Asonahores – Association of Hotels and Tourism of the Dominican Republic, the sunny destination will not suffer another significant “slowdown” in spite of fresh Omicron outbreaks around the world.
As a result of the new strain, several flights were grounded and vacation plans disrupted, with staff shortages being reported by several airlines across the US and even more countries enacting restrictive measures to combat the surge.
However, Tejera’s statement comes as further reassurance to US and Canadian citizens, who until now might had been uncertain whether the popular vacation hotspot would enforce tighter entry requirements and trigger a wave of cancellations.
He has also added that the optimistic prospect for the incoming tourist season results from a low level of test positivity in tourist areas, as well as strict security protocols that have been followed across the hospitality sector.
Additionally, Tejera also mentioned tourism authorities in the country are satisfied with the figures observed in 2021, which indicate a “good public-private work”.
He also predicts that 2022 will be the “year of the consolidation of the recovery of tourism“.
Is It Safe To Book A Trip To The Dominican Republic Right Now?
So far, the island nation has identified a single case of the new Omicron variant, raising hopes the new strain might still not be as widespread as in other parts of the world, although it seems to already be in circulation.
As reported by local media, President Luis Abinader does not seem to favor imposing further restrictions on daily life ahead of an Omicron-led fifth wave, focusing instead on offering booster shots to protect the population.
It means that visitors from around the globe, including the US and Canada, should not expect dramatic changes to COVID regulations this soon, unlike in certain European destinations.
As a matter of fact, tourists have continued to flock into the country recently.
As included in the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development’s Sectoral Panorama report, the number of arrivals have exceeded pre-pandemic figures by 18.7%, with a large majority of those being Americans.
Although the Dominican Republic is still open with very few restrictions, visitors should always check entry requirements for individual countries as they may change at short notice.
What Are The Rules For Americans Traveling To Punta Cana Right Now
Currently, most travelers are exempt from presenting vaccination cards and even negative COVID tests upon arrival in Punta Cana or any other municipality in the Republic.
Certain airports or other ports of entry will still pick random individuals to undergo a short so-called “breath test“, and all of those who present COVID-related symptoms such as a persistent cough and fever.
If you would like to minimize your chances of being singled out for testing, a vaccination card issued no less than 3 weeks after the last dose, or a negative PCR test taken in the previous 72 hours will exempt you from the requirement.
You are also not required to disclose vaccination status in order to check into resorts or use tourist transportation regulated by the Ministry of Tourism.
On the contrary, in order to visit establishments outside tourism complexes (e.g. a resort) proof of full vaccination or a PCR test performed in the last week is required.
For more information on COVID-related risks when traveling to the Dominican Republic from the United States, make sure to check the latest CDC advice.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories