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The Dominican Republic has announced a new plan to promote tourism on the island including free medical insurance and rapid COVID-19 breath tests. 

President Luis Abinader Corona made the announcement at a press conference Tuesday outlining the new plan including being the first country in the world to utilize the rapid breathalyzer tests to detect COVID-19 upon entering the country. 

Catalina Island, Dominican Republic

First Country To Use Rapid Breathalyzer COVID-19 Test

Starting in September, the rapid COVID-19 breath tests will eliminate the requirement for travelers to get the invasive PCR test prior to traveling to the Dominican Republic.

Passengers will be selected at random to take the COVID-19 rapid breathalyzer test which reportedly can provide results in less than 30 seconds with an 80% accuracy.  

passengers in masks

“Our goal is to minimize the effects of the pandemic and facilitate a responsible recovery that prioritizes health, maximizes the potential for job creation and economic growth, and promotes the further sustainable development of the sector,” President of the Dominican Republic Luis Abinader Corona

Companies around the world have been racing to bring the breath test to market which could help return a sense of normality during the pandemic. Israeli firm Nanoscent, says they have developed a breath test that has an 80% accuracy rate and only takes 30 seconds for results. 

The Dominican Republic did not announce which company or type of breathalyzer test they would be using to detect COVID-19.

Free Travel Insurance

The second measure of the plan announced was the addition of free insurance for travelers if they should fall ill with COVID-19 during their stay. 

The complimentary insurance will be available to travelers until December 2020 and offer the following: 

  • Coverage for emergencies
  • Telemedicine
  • Lodging for extended stays due to an infection
  • Flight changes due to an infection 

The insurance will be completely covered by the Dominican Republic government. 

Dominican Republic flag on the beach near Punta Cana

New Sanitary Bubble

A new sanitary bubble is also being implemented which will require hotel staff to stay on site as long as possible and undergo constant testing for COVID-19.

Cayacoa Beach, Samaná, Dominican Republic

“We are confident that together we will overcome the challenges of the pandemic and ensure that the Dominican Republic remains the number one destination in the region for international travelers who visit either for vacation, business, investment opportunities or returning to their preferred second home,” said Minster of Tourism, David Collado.

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

The Dominican Republic Government has said that the updated health and safety protocols are in the process of being approved by the World Travel and Tourism Council's (WTTC) Safe Travels program.

Walkway jets out into the Caribbean sea in the Dominican Republic

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