(TimeOut) – If the white sand beaches and deep blue ocean of the Dominican Republic are calling your name this year, you’ll need to make yourself familiar with these Covid-era travel restrictions before you go.
As part of the island’s Responsible Tourism Recovery Plan, most travellers no longer need to provide a negative Covid-19 test upon arrival. Instead, airports and other ports of entry will perform a temperature check on all arriving passengers and an additional aleatory breath test on 3–15 percent of arrivals.
However, these lax rules do not apply to visitors from the United Kingdom. U.K. travellers are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before travel. Travelers that arrive to the DR without a negative test are subject to COVID-19 testing upon arrival and must quarantine for the next seven days in a government facility at their own expense.
All travellers (foreign and Dominican passengers) entering or leaving the Dominican Republic must also complete the electronic entry and exit form, which combines the Traveler’s Health Affidavit, Customs Declaration and International Embarkation/Disembarkation forms. Passengers will need to fill out a form for arrival and another one for departure and the system will generate two QR codes. Until April 30, Dominican authorities will accept both physical forms and the new digital system. As of May 1, the use of digital forms will be mandatory.
All international tourists arriving on commercial flights and staying at a hotel will also be granted a temporary, free health coverage plan that provides coverage for emergencies in the event of an infection or exposure to COVID-19 while in-country. Health coverage is only available to those flying into the country and staying at a hotel.
For American and U.K. travellers who must be tested before returning home, many hotels in the Dominican Republic are also offering quick-result viral antigen testing to international visitors.
While on the island, visitors will have to abide by the curfew, Monday through Friday from 9pm to 5am and 7pm to 5am on the weekend for any activities outside their hotel, as well as maintain social distancing rules and wear your face mask. Note that restaurants are currently operating at 60 percent capacity while bars and clubs remain closed. Public beaches remain open.
Interested in more pristine beaches? See all the Caribbean countries that are currently open for tourism.
Remember, many countries (including the USA) are still warning against all non-essential travel and some are quarantining all overseas arrivals, including their own returning citizens. Check all the relevant restrictions before you think about traveling.