(TravelPulse) – The Dominican Republic will begin offering free COVID-19 antigen testing for all international visitors staying at a hotel in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) new requirement that travelers returning to the United States present proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of departure beginning Tuesday, January 26.
The rapid tests will be administered by health personnel on-site at no cost and results will be certified by the Ministry of Health. PCR tests will also be available to hotel guests at an additional cost.
According to the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism (MITUR), the country’s laboratories are able to process 11,000 daily tests as of January 19. However, capacity will be increased by 40 percent over the next three weeks to meet the new demand.
“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 peace of mind,” David Collado, Minister of Tourism of the Dominican Republic, said in a statement.
MITUR has also extended the free health coverage plan for tourists arriving on commercial flights and staying at a hotel through the end of March 2021. In addition to the aforementioned testing, the plan covers all medical emergencies, including those caused in the event of an infection or exposure to COVID-19 while in the Dominican Republic.
Travelers currently do not need a negative COVID-19 test result to gain entry to the Dominican Republic. Instead, officials are performing random tests on a small percentage of arrivals and those who display symptoms.