SANTO DOMINGO — The Dominican Republic has unveiled its new tourism recovery plan that includes new rapid testing and temporary insurance coverage for all tourists staying at hotels.
The Plan for the Responsible Recovery of Tourism, launched in response to COVID-19, will be led by President Luis Abinader Corona, who made the announcement at a press conference on Tuesday.
“Our goal is to minimize the effects of the pandemic and facilitate a responsible recovery that prioritizes health, maximizes the potential for job creation and economic growth, and promotes the further sustainable development of the sector,” said President Abinader.
David Collado, Minister of Tourism, who also attended Tuesday’s press conference, said that the new administration and the Association of Hotels and Tourism of Dominican Republic (ASONAHORES) have been meeting to better understand tourist concerns and industry needs.
“We are focused on driving continuous growth for the sector, along with our country’s image,” said Minister Collado. “We are confident that together we will overcome the challenges of the pandemic and ensure that the Dominican Republic remains the number one destination in the region for international travellers who visit either for vacation, business, investment opportunities or returning to their preferred second home.”
The new measures outlined in the plan include the following:
- Starting at the end of September, rapid tests will be performed on randomly selected travellers upon arrival. These include the diagnostic breath test for COVID-19. Once this measure is in place, the previously announced negative COVID-19 test requirement prior to arrival will be eliminated.
- All tourists visiting a hotel will be granted on a temporary basis a travel assistance plan that will include coverage for emergencies, telemedicine, lodging for prolonged stays and costs for changing flights in the event of an infection. This insurance will be provided at no cost to the visitor until December 2020 and will be 100% paid for by the Dominican State.
- Social distancing and the use of masks will be mandatory for the duration of a visitor’s stay.
- A ‘Sanitary Bubble’ will be implemented to ensure that hotel employees stay as long as possible within the facilities.
- Properties will implement effective health management with suppliers, contractors and employees. Employees will be regularly tested and will follow a specific protocol to enter and exit facilities.
- Labour regulations will be adapted to minimize and mitigate risks for employees.
A new Tourism Cabinet, led by the President of the Republic and under the executive direction of the Minister of Tourism, will manage the plan. Institutions that directly affect the industry’s value chain will make up the Cabinet, which will constantly monitor the impact and effectiveness of each initiative implemented and adjust as necessary.
A communication effort will follow, using all channels and points of contact with tourists and allies to let the world know that the Dominican Republic is a safe travel destination. The communication plan includes training, detailed material, constant updating, and search engine optimization.
For more information on the Dominican Republic’s entry requirements and health & safety protocols, click here.