Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Photo: Courtesy of twenty20photos
The Dominican Republic's Tourism Recovery Plan is working! Allianz Partners' report names the Dominica Republic's stunning resort area of Punta Cana as one of the top 2021 spring break destinations (globenewswire.com). According to Allianz Partners' 2021 international travel list, Punta Cana claims the number six spot for spring break destinations, moving up from the number ten spot in 2020 (insidertravelreport.com).
The Dominican Republic's Tourism Recovery Plan's relaxed COVID-19 entry requirements, free temporary travel insurance, complimentary COVID-19 antigen testing before departure, and streamlined entry and exit process are to thank in large part for the uptick in tourism during a time when international travel is not only tricky but discouraged as a result of the pandemic.
Since September 15, 2020, the Dominican Republic has not required a negative COVID-19 PCR test to enter the country and has not mandated it be taken upon arrival. Instead, the government has implemented a much less invasive measure. Airports and other ports of entry administer a quick, aleatory breath test to between 3 to 15 percent of passengers and to all those who present symptoms (godominicanrepublic.com). Passengers under the age of five and crew members are exempt from this procedure (godominicanrepublic.com).
Another convenience provided by the Dominican government is the option for a free, temporary health plan. Currently being offered (through April 30, 2021) to all international tourists arriving on commercial flights and staying at a hotel, the health plan is set up during the check-in process and provides coverage for emergencies in the event of an infection or exposure to COVID-19 while in the country (godominicanrepublic.com). The complimentary coverage includes medical attention by specialists, medical transfers, transfer of a relative, penalty for airfare changes, lodging for prolonged stays, and more (godominicanrepublic.com).
The Dominican Republic's Tourism Recovery Plan has also made it easy for international visitors to meet the new Center for Disease Control's (CDC) requirements for a negative viral COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) administered within 72 hours of returning to the United States. The Dominican Republic offers free viral antigen testing to international visitors staying at a hotel (godominicanrepublic.com).
Another travel perk is the streamlined entry and exit process. The Dominican Republic's E-ticket platform, launched in November 2021, provides one electronic entry and exit form that combines the Traveler's Health Affidavit, Customs Declaration, and International Embarkation/Disembarkation forms into one simplified document.