(TravelPulse) – The Dominican Republic will reopen to international travelers for the first time in more than three months on Wednesday, beginning what the marquee destination hopes is a successful recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Throughout [the COVID-19 pandemic) we have remained in close contact with our tourism partners from operators to hoteliers to agencies,” Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism director Lucien Echavarria told Caribbean Journal. “We are ready and we know we are in a position to be among the fastest to recover because we are close and safe.
Punta Cana International Airport and other airports across the country will resume operations on July 1 as flights operated by major carriers return to the Caribbean hotspot. At the same time, about half of the country’s hotels will reopen their doors, with the remainder set to reopen by November.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana is scheduled to welcome guests back as of Wednesday while the nearby Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana and Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana properties are accepting reservations for July 22 and beyond. Meanwhile, the popular Club Med Punta Cana is slated to reopen on October 17.
Travelers are encouraged to confirm openings and closures with their individual property before making plans.
Visitors to the Dominican Republic should also anticipate a number of enhanced health and safety protocols to be in place at airports and hotels, including temperature checks upon arrival.
Face masks and social distancing will also be encouraged or enforced in some cases.
“Members of the Association of Hotels and Tourism of Dominican Republic (ASONAHORES) have implemented thorough sanitation and hygiene measures, following the recommendations of the Ministry of Public Health,” the country’s Ministry of Tourism states on its website. “When reopening, hotels will abide to strict protocols to offer a clean, safe environment, promote social distancing and the use of contact-free technologies.”
Phase 4 of the Dominican Republic’s de-escalation process scheduled to begin on Wednesday also includes the opening of local gyms and restaurants so while visitors will have to embrace a “new normal” much of the coveted destination will be accessible.