Dominican Republic Plans to Cancel Negative COVID-19 Test Requirement Prior to Arrival

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The Dominican Republic has introduced a new plan to propel its tourism recovery while prioritizing the health and safety of residents and travelers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The most notable measure revealed on Tuesday is the rollout of rapid testing such as a diagnostic breath test for COVID-19 that will be performed on randomly selected travelers upon arrival in the Dominican Republic beginning at the end of September.

The random testing will eventually replace the current COVID-19 test required for entry.

Under the new plan, hotel guests also will temporarily receive an assistance plan including coverage for emergencies, telemedicine, lodging for prolonged stays and flight changes in the event that they contract COVID-19 during their visit. The complimentary insurance will be available until December 2020. Meanwhile, officials will establish a sanitary bubble for hotel employees, who will be tested regularly.

Social distancing and face masks continue to be mandatory for all travelers.

The Dominican government said that its updated protocols are in the process of being certified under the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Safe Travels program.

“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 said in a statement.

The new plan will be managed by a Tourism Cabinet led by Abinader under the executive direction of Minister of Tourism David Collado. The cabinet will be responsible for monitoring the impact and effectiveness of each initiative and adjusting the country’s response as necessary.

“We are focused on driving continued growth for the sector, along with our country’s image,” said Collado. “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.”

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