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Mexico and Dominican Republic Top Destinations For Americans This Winter

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Mexico and the Dominican Republic are the top destinations for Americans looking to escape the cold this winter.

Travel Off Path polled our community of readers and found that over 78% of Americans looking for a warm getaway this winter will visit either Mexico or the Dominican Republic. 

American Tourist at Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

After connectivity and proximity to the U.S. the other top reason travelers were choosing those two destinations were the simple COVID-19 entry requirements for both countries. 

One thing is clear, travel restrictions, entry requirements, testing and quarantines are overwhelming travelers. 

Cayacoa Beach, Samaná, Dominican Republic

Facing the possibility of being denied entry due to a possible test result delay, travelers aren't willing to roll the dice on their vacations.

Tammy Shultz from Nashville told Travel Off Path “I looked at other locations for my family but with such tight timelines to get COVID-19 tests, I'm not going to risk the only vacation my family has this year. We are headed to Playa Del Carmen and know that we can get into Mexico.”

When asked about the fear of contracting COVID-19 she simply said “There are risks everywhere you go. My family will be careful and we'll wear masks just like we do here [Nashville].”

Cancun beaches will once again receive tourists

Mexico entry requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic do not require any extra steps. There are no online forms to fill out, no quarantines and no COVID-19 testing before traveling or upon arrival. 

That doesn't mean the hospitality industry isn't taking the pandemic seriously. Cancun for example has strict health protocols in place for resorts and restaurants to protect travelers such as the mandatory use of masks in public areas and social distancing. 

Aerial view of Cancun beach and resorts

The Dominican Republic recently dropped its COVID-19 testing requirements in hopes it will attract more tourists this winter. While not formally announced, the move came after the Cancun International airport recorded over 300,000 international tourists in August

The Dominican Republic does however randomly select travelers for rapid COVID-19 breath tests. According to the public health ministry, random tests were carried out on Saturday at Dominican Republic airports. Of the 6275 passengers, 322 passengers were randomly tested. Zero cases were registered as positive according to the ministry. 

Dominican Republic flag on beach

The Dominican Republic COVID-19 entry requirements do not require any COVID-19 tests prior to traveling and there are no quarantines upon arrival. 

Travelers will be required to fill out a health affidavit on the plane before arrival.

Control tower of the international airport in Cancun

According to ASUR, The Cancun International Airport registered over 850,000 passengers in September of 2020. Compared to 1.5 million in 2019, Cancun has already recovered over 50% of its tourism market compared to last year. 

American Tourists Arrive In Mexico

The Dominican Republic recently added free medical COVID-19 insurance for all international travelers that will run until the end of the year. 

The Insurance will cover 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. 

Ocean view on the Bavaro beach in Punta Cana. Dominican republic

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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

Katie Onisko

Monday 12th of October 2020

I am in Puerta Vallarta and masks are not required on beach if distanced. They are required in all public places


Monday 12th of October 2020

This depends where you go. Main international tourist places seem to follow the procedures dictated by the State. But when you travel away from Puerto Vallarta to the Costalegre, like San Patricio, nobody wears masks, not even store employees.

karin krebs

Monday 12th of October 2020

Does anyone know if masks need to worn on Mexican beaches. We have also heard from reliable sources that some beaches, Isla Mujeres, requires "beach "reservations of 2 hrs max. Any one can confirm this?

Jorge Varanda

Monday 12th of October 2020

I just returned from Puerto Vallarta yesterday 10 days. I actually felt safer than than here in the US stayed at Grand Fiesta Americana adults only all inclusive. I was actually very impressed the way Mexico is handling the crisis felt safe everywhere almost everyone wears masks the Resort was spectacular clean they check temperatures when arriving at the Resort they keep track of clients if you leave the Resort for excursions etc