The Dominican Republic has announced that all Covid-19 restrictions are to be removed from today, February 16, 2022. In a move that is sure to delight millions of travelers who visit the Dominican Republic reach year, the country’s president revealed that they would be taking a new approach to the pandemic, explaining that taking care of one’s self is an individual responsibility, before adding that it was time for the country to recover its freedom.
The announcement comes off the back of a wave of similar such announcements in Europe, where through either recognition that the Omicron variant is mild or through a change of policy, more and more countries have begun to remove their local restrictions and ease their once-prohibitive entry requirements.
Here’s a look at what’s set to change in the Dominican Republic, what the president had to say, and what this means for travelers.
Restrictions Remove – Information For Travelers
Wednesday night could prove to be a watershed moment for travel to the Caribbean, after the president of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, announced that all the restrictive measures imposed as a result of Covid-19 were to be suspended from that day.
In doing so, the Dominican Republic will be leading the way amongst Latin American and Caribbean countries when it comes to easing restrictions, a move that could have a hugely positive impact on the country’s tourism sector.
The announcement means that restrictions that once prevented travelers from being able to make their most of trips to the Dominican Republic, such as the mandatory wearing of a face mask and the need to show proof of vaccination in order to access certain places, are now gone. Such restrictions had previously been bolstered, with the need to show proof of having a booster vaccine needed too.
Thankfully for travelers, such requirements are now set to be kicked to the curb. Announcing the changes to the restrictions, President Abinader said:
“Measures such as the use of the mask, the need to present the vaccination card to access all places or the restrictions in public spaces today are the individual responsibility of each and every one of us. After this long battle, we began to recover our freedom.”
The changes were announced by President Abinader in a live speech that was broadcast by several media outlets in the country. Despite the changes, Abinader stressed that Dominicans were still encouraged to get fully vaccinated against Covid-19, whilst adding that the government would continue to monitor the situation closely and that their health system was “prepared to deal with any eventuality.”
Referencing the sacrifices many have had to make in order to be able to repeal their restrictions, Abinader said:
“Thanks, above all, to the millions of Dominicans who complied with the measures and went to get vaccinated. Thanks to all this, we have overcome the worst of the pandemic: today the daily infections and those of the last four weeks are in sharp decline, we have one of the lowest mortality rates in the world and a very low hospital occupancy.”
Much like it has been for Mexico, the removal of restrictions is bound to cause a boom in the number of travelers picking the Dominican Republic as their next vacation destination.
At present, travelers do not have to show a negative test of proof of vaccination or a pre-flight test in order to enter the Dominican Republic, though they may be subject to a random ‘rapid breath’ test upon arrival. It is unknown at this time if these random breath tests will also be discontinued, but it’s assumed they will.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com