The Dominican Republic is the second-largest country in the Caribbean with nearly 1,000 miles of coastline. It boasts the highest mountain peak in the region, at over 3,000 metres, plus 29 national parks and 32 endemic bird species.

But it is the soul of the nation that really captures tourists. There are few places in the world where people live with a smile on their face and a sparkle in their eyes. The Dominican Republic is one of them.

It is an oasis of light, scent and colour, a place where you can let yourself go – whether it is dancing the merengue among the palm trees or feeling the adrenaline rush on a rainforest adventure.

Can you travel to the Dominican Republic?

The Dominican Republic is open to tourism.

However the UK Foreign Office advises against all but essential travel to the Dominican Republic for British tourists.

Hotels have opened their doors to welcome guests back. Foreign tourists staying in Dominican Republic hotels will be able to have free rapid antigen tests until the end of March.

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The Ministry of Tourism has laid out a series of protocols for tourism operators and establishments to follow.

As part of the security measures and protocols to take care of the health of both visitors and hotel employees, the Ministry of Tourism validates the operation of all hotels, airports and tourist businesses with international certifications. These include the Safe Travels stamp and the Bureau Veritas certification.

Hotels and resorts are adhering to robust health and safety protocols including a ‘sanitary bubble’ to ensure that hotel employees stay as long as possible within the property. Employees will be regularly tested and will follow a specific protocol to come in and out of the facilities.

All safety measures conform to the recommendations of the World Health Organization with a guiding principle of offering unforgettable tourist experiences in accordance with the most rigorous standards in the industry.

Please click here to view the protocols document.

What do British travellers need to do before going to the Dominican Republic?

Following the detection of a highly contagious strain of Covid-19, people arriving from the UK need to present a negative PCR test carried out a maximum of 72 hours before the flight departs.

Passengers arriving without the negative PCR test medical certification will be subject to Covid-19 testing on arrival and will be subject to seven days’ quarantine in a state-sanctioned facility at their own expense, pending test results.

Travellers should also check with their airline for any other testing requirements. Direct flights from the UK to the Dominican Republic are currently suspended but there are connections via Paris, Madrid, Frankfurt and Zurich.

This is the latest information but as the situation is fluid, we would recommend checking with the airline websites directly.

What can travellers expect on arrival in the Dominican Republic?

All visitors to the Dominican Republic are required to complete and submit a Traveller Health Affidavit which will be included, along with the arrivals and customs forms, in one digital e-ticket which can be found here.

Tourists staying at hotels in the Dominican Republic will be granted, on a temporary basis, a free travel assistance plan, which will include free rapid antigen test until March 31, 2021.

The Travel Assistance Plan coverage begins at check-in at the hotel and provides the visitor with coverage of medical emergencies in case of Covid-19. It covers outpatient visits, hospitalisations and medicines; prolonged stays due to medical emergencies; specialist care; medicines in case of hospitalisations, a wide variety of health centres throughout the country; transportation in case of emergency; hospital expenses and cost of penalties for flight changes.

This insurance will be provided at no cost to the visitor and is available and valid until March 31, 2021. For more details, click here.

Social distancing and the use of masks are mandatory for the duration of the visitor’s stay.

A new Dominican Republic Travel Resource Centre has been launched. The resource is an initiative designed to deliver accurate, up-to-date information to future visitors and trade partners and answer frequently asked travel questions. It features Covid-19 industry updates from trusted sources and has a live chat facility.

When will cruises restart to the Dominican Republic?

All cruise ports were reopened on July 1, 2020, and are ready to receive cruise ships. Please check with the individual cruise companies for their schedules.

What safety measures can travellers expect in the Dominican Republic?

A number of protocols have been put in place to ensure safety and provide reassurance to tourists.

At airports, these include the installation of hand sanitiser dispensers, the implementation of a boarding pass reader for a direct scan, and social distancing measures with the closure of children’s play areas and the placement of social distancing floor signage.

Please click here to find the latest up-to-date information on protocols and measures being put in place.

The hotel sector has also been proactive. Below is a comprehensive list of hotels and resorts website links that provide details on the quality and hygiene programmes they have implemented. These programmes address all aspects of resort operations and guest experience from welcome to departure.

Many hotels are offering free rapid antigen testing on site as part of the Travel Assistance Plan coverage offered by the state until March 31, 2021. Hotels can also help guests make appointments for PCR testing for those who need them, but these costs will be covered by the guest.

For further details on specific hotel and resort protocols, visit:

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PICTURES: The Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic

Last updated January 22, 2021