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 British travellers go to the Dominican Republic?
The Dominican Republic is open to tourism. However, the country is currently on the UK’s amber list, which means those arriving in the UK must self-isolate for 10 days. All travellers from amber list countries must book PCR tests to take on day two and day eight after arriving in the UK.
Those arriving into England may qualify for the test to release scheme, which will end the 10-day quarantine period early in the event of a negative test on day five. Travellers will still need to take their last PCR test on day eight.
The government currently advises against leisure travel to amber list destinations.
UK visitors, and those who have been in the UK in the past two weeks, will no longer need to present a negative PCR or antigen test on arrival into the Dominican Republic.
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 international tourists arriving on commercial flights and staying at a hotel will be granted a temporary, free health coverage plan during the check-in process. The health plan provides coverage for emergencies in the event of an infection or exposure to Covid-19 while in the country. The coverage includes medical attention by specialists, medical transfers, transfer of a relative, penalty for airfare changes, lodging for prolonged stays, and more.
This insurance will be provided at no cost to visitors arriving on or before July 30, 2021 and will be 100% paid for by the Dominican government. In order to obtain coverage of the health plan, the tourist must enter the country exclusively by air and only applies for guests staying at a hotel.
For more information or to receive assistance while in the country in the event of exposure, please contact the Seguros Reservas Assistance Line by dialling +1 809 476 3232, so that a representative can determine the appropriate course of action on a case-by-case basis. For additional details regarding what is and is not covered by the policy, click here.
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?
UK visitors, and those who have been in the UK for the past 14 days, will no longer need to show proof of a Covid-19 negative test.
All passengers will be subject to random Covid-19 rapid screening tests on arrival into the Dominican Republic. However, those who present proof of both vaccinations and/or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival, will be exempt from the random test.
All visitors to the Dominican Republic must complete the electronic entry and exit form, which combines the Traveller Health Affidavit, Customs Declaration and International Embarkation and Disembarkation forms. These must be completed using the digital e-ticket here.
Passengers will need to fill out one form for arrival and another for departure, and the system will generate two QR codes. They are advised to fill out the form up to 72 hours in advance, then print or screenshot the QR code and keep it on hand until arrival, when it will be scanned as they pass through customs.
However, airports in the Dominican Republic have free internet access, so if passengers have not filled out the form before flying, they can do so when they arrive in the country.
The QR code will not be scanned during departure, but the form must still be completed.
If passengers need to make any changes to their information, they must start a new form. For further information and to watch a video that will assist in completing the form, click here.
Travellers should also check with their airline for any other testing requirements. British Airways’ direct flights from Gatwick to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic have restarted. There are also same-day connections from UK airports to Santo Domingo and Punta Cana 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?
Those arriving from the UK do not need to present a negative PCR or antigen test, but will be subject to a random Covid-19 rapid screening test on arrival. Those who do present proof of both vaccinations and/or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival, will be exempt from the random test.
Travellers should also check with their airline directly to confirm if there are any testing or other related requirements for inbound flights to the Dominican Republic.
Travellers can also find further information in the Dominican Republic Travel Resource Centre. 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.
Social distancing and the use of masks are mandatory for the duration of the visitor’s stay.
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.
For further details on specific hotel and resort protocols, visit:
- Bahia Principe
- Barceló Hotels
- Casa de Campo
- Catalonia Hotels & Resorts
- Club Med
- Eden Roc Cap Cana
- Excellence Hotels
- Hard Rock Punta Cana
- Hilton La Romana and Sanctuary
- Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara
- Impressive Resorts
- Le Sivory Port Blue
- Majestic Resorts
- Ocean Hotels
- Palladium Group
- Princess Hotels & Resorts
- Riu & Sensatori
- Royalton Luxury Resorts
- Viva Wyndham All-Inclusive Resorts
- Westin Punta Cana and Tortuga Bay
PICTURES: The Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic
Last updated June 15, 2021