The Dominican Republic is launching a set of initiatives to reassure tourists that the destination is safe to travel to.
The Caribbean destination’s president has unveiled a recovery plan designed to “protect the health, welfare and safety of tourists as well as promote a sustainable recovery of the tourism sector”.
Initiatives, due to start at the end of September, will include “rapid” Covid-19 breath tests on arrival for “randomly selected” travellers, which will eliminate the current requirement for visitors to provide a negative Covid test prior to reaching the Dominican Republic.
Tourists staying in hotels will also benefit from a “travel assistance plan” paid for by the Dom Rep government – this temporary insurance, running until December 2020, will cover emergencies, telemedicine, accommodation for prolonged stays and the costs of changing flights due to infection.
The country is also making social distancing and the wearing of masks mandatory throughout holidaymakers’ stays, while a “sanitary bubble” will be implemented to ensure hotel staff stay within the property “as long as possible”.
Luis Abinader Corona, president of the Dominican Republic, said: “Our goal is to minimise the effects of the pandemic and facilitate a responsible recovery that prioritises health, maximises the potential for job creation and economic growth, and promotes the further sustainable development of the sector.”
Tourism minister David Collado added the government had been meeting with the Association of Hotels and Tourism of Dominican Republic “to better understand” the needs of tourists and the industry.
“We are focused on driving continuous growth for the sector, along with our country’s image,” said Collado. “We are confident that together we will overcome the challenges of the pandemic.”
The destination plans to implement internationally certified health protocols applying across the entire tourism industry, which are currently being certified by World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travels programme.