Source: Travel Pulse
Photo Credit: The Points Guy
The Dominican Republic opened for tourism earlier this summer, but bookings to the destination have remained low.
However, they’re likely to pick up in the coming months with the news that travelers will no longer need to provide a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival.
I traveled to the Caribbean island last week, staying at the newly re-launched Hyatt Ziva and Zilara Cap Cana resort.
At the time, the requirement for entering was to provide a negative COVID-19 test. I had mine taken at the local urgent care facility near me and received my results in two days.
I will admit, the test is not a pleasant experience. However, it is a necessary one, and honestly, it made me feel much better about traveling knowing I was coronavirus free.
The wild part is that I probably could’ve gotten away with not even taking the test because at no point did anyone ask to see my results.
As I approached the immigration line at the Punta Cana airport, I was asked if I had my COVID test results. After I replied yes, I was directed to the left line, but a few people ahead of me in line were directed to the right side. I assumed it was because they never took a test before arriving and they would be getting tested at the airport.
I handed over the normal customs form per usual, keeping my COVID results test in hand to see if they would specifically ask for it – but they never did. My passport was stamped and on my way I went.
This occurrence was not any different from what several travel agents on the FAM trip hosted by Playa Hotels & Resorts also experienced.
It was just something I found interesting and makes me wonder how other Caribbean islands are handling this when guests arrive.
With hand sanitizer stations, social distance markers and everyone wearing masks though, I still felt safe at the airport.
That sentiment carried over to the resort as well.
The requirement for wearing masks in indoor spaces like the lobby for check-in and seeing the safe stay sticker over my door ensuring nobody else has entered my room after it was sanitized offers peace of mind.
Hand sanitizer dispensers can be found by the elevators and at the front of all restaurants, along with QR codes to eliminate the need to touch menus.
Employees wear masks at all times and while walking around the resort you can spot the staff constantly cleaning high touch areas.
Dominican Republic resorts can only operate at 30% occupancy right now. However, the resort I was at felt quite empty and was around 18% occupancy.
The Caribbean is open for travelers and desperately needs tourism to rebound. If you feel comfortable traveling at this time, it’s certainly a safe option to consider.
But don’t take just my word for it.
Hear from other travelers on how they felt visiting the Dominican Republic last week.