DR Steps Up Covid Testing to Comply with New CDC Protocols
The Dominican Government, through the Ministry of Tourism and Public Health, has announced new country-wide measures that it will begin offering free antigen testing to all international visitors staying at a hotel to meet the new Centers for Disease Control’s travel protocols requiring travelers as of January 26, 2021 returning to the U.S. to present proof of a negative COVID-19 or antigen test prior to departure.
Beginning on January 26, these rapid tests will be administered at no cost by technical health personnel at the hotels, and the test results will be certified by the Ministry of Health. From coast-to-coast hotels around the country are well prepared to assist their guests in coordinating their appointments as well as deliver their results.
The Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism (MITUR) highlighted that as of January 19 the current capacity of the laboratories is at 11,000 daily tests, which prioritizes attention to visitors and locals. In preparation for the forthcoming requirement over the next three weeks testing capacity will be increased by 40 percent to ensure that no traveler has issues returning to their outbound destination. At an additional cost, hotels will also offer PCR tests to all guests who request it.
“The Dominican Republic continues to be committed to offering a safe tourist experience, both for those who visit us and for all Dominicans who participate in the industry’s productive chain. For this reason, we are continuously revising the measures to offer our visitors the necessary facilities they may need to enjoy their vacation and return home with a peace of mind,” said David Collado, Minister of Tourism of the Dominican Republic.
In December 2020, MITUR announced the continuation of the free health coverage plan to March 31, 2021, for tourists arriving on commercial flights and staying at a hotel. The plan, which was originally set to cover tourists only through January 1, 2021, is effective from the moment of check-in at a hotel and covers all medical emergencies, including those caused in the event of an infection or exposure to COVID-19 while in-country, as well as this forthcoming offering of complimentary antigen testing.
This added testing offering is the most recent addition to the Responsible Tourism Recovery Plan underscoring MITUR’s commitment to excellence within the tourism industry, a driving force for the Dominican economy. With these measures, the Ministry of Tourism reaffirms its commitment to continued collaboration with the public and private sector to best ensure travelers safety as well as promote a sustainable recovery of the sector.