What is the current situation in the Dominican Republic in 2023
In modern realities, we are already accustomed to the fact that we are largely limited due to the situation with COVID-19. It is not at all surprising that often because of this, flights are canceled, or people themselves cancel their trips to avoid risks. Speaking about the current situation in the Dominican Republic, it is worth saying that the tourism business in Punta Cana is actively reviving and receiving tourists.
If you are not a fan of reading, and what to see by yourself the current situation in the DR, then just watch our video about the excursion to Isla Saona (from Punta Cana) this December, just a couple of weeks ago.
Video about today’s travel situation and atmosphere
in the Dominican Republic in December
The Dominican Republic reopening
As you already know, the state of tourism in the Dominican Republic is stabilizing. In addition, the government is quite loyal, so you may not notice many of the restrictions. In general, now most of the activities and establishments are open to the public. Nevertheless, let us take a short look at some of these.
- Most of the hotels have reopened and are actively working to provide the best and safest service. In addition to the fact that tourism in Punta Cana is resuming in full swing, as a result of safety COVID-19 measures and effective vaccination situation, currently, hotel occupancy has increased to 85%.
- The beaches are open to the public, and the guards make sure that there are not too many people.
- Water excursions are available since ports, marinas, yachts, and cruise ships are open to the public.
- Various parks are also open to the public but at certain times. We recommend that you always agree on this information with the company from which you take the tour. And also you can check out the details on the official website.
- The malls and shops are open as usual.
- Some casinos and clubs are still closed to the public, we recommend that you check out the information on the official website.
Travel restrictions in the DR
At the moment, there are a number of restrictions in line with the fight against COVID-19. And we strongly recommend that you follow basic safety rules to protect yourself and others.
- Wearing face masks. Even though the number of cases of pandemic diseases is falling, wearing a mask in public places with closed spaces is necessary. Also, we should mention that this is optional on the beach and hotel grounds.
- Social distancing. This is an important point if you are in a crowd. It is recommended to avoid spaces with large numbers of people.
- Capacity. The capacity in establishments for public use can be up to 75%, always in compliance with sanitary protocols.
- Sale of alcohol. It is prohibited to sell alcoholic beverages in grocery stores, discos, bars, casinos, and entertainment centers after midnight Monday through Friday and on Saturdays and Sundays after 2:00 am.
- Vaccination. You must show a 2-dose certificate when you want to visit public places (banks, shops etc.).
- Entertainment activities and sports. Well, they are permitted as long as they can be conducted in strict accordance with social distancing rules. And indoor gyms and other sport centers operate under strict COVID-19 protocols.
- Public events. So, events involving large gatherings in any public area require permission from the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance. To obtain this permission, the responsible parties must submit a request for permission in writing, at least seven days before its commencement, which must include general information about the event, including the location, photographs of the premises, and persons in charge.
The Dominican Republic travel requirements
1. Does DR require a COVID-19 test?
First of all, it is important to emphasize that you should always check the requirements of the airline you are flying with. The reason is that the situation with the test requirement may differ from country to country.
In general, most travelers do not need to show a COVID-19 test upon arrival in the Dominican Republic. Well, there is also no need to take a PCR test upon arrival, since airport workers randomly ask foreign travelers to take a rapid test. Moreover, if you already have a negative COVID-19 tested at home, you can just present it to workers. After that, they will not ask you to get randomized testing. Do not forget that your test is only active for 72 hours.
2. E-ticket in the Dominican Republic
Well, all passengers entering or leaving the Dominican Republic on commercial flights must fulfill the free electronic entry and exit form, which has the traveler’s health information, Customs Declaration, and International Embarkation / Disembarkation forms. The form is available in seven languages and can be accessed through the official Electronic Ticket portal. You can read more here about E-ticket form.
You do not have to panic if you did not fill out the form before the flight, since Dominican airports have free internet access. And you can fulfill it when upon arrival in the country. Nevertheless, it is strongly recommended to fill out the form 72 hours before the travel, because internet can be very slow in airports. Passengers arriving on cruise ships, private flights, ferries do not need to fill out the E-ticket form.
You should definitely fill out the E-ticket form before the flight and make a screenshot of the QR code, which will be scanned by the airport workers when passengers go through Customs.
What other documents are required for entry?
1. Dominican Visa
Well, it should be noted that the need for a visa depends on the country you come from. The citizens from a number of countries such as the United States, Canada, and a list of European countries do not need a visa. Nevertheless, they need to have a tourist card to enter the Dominican Republic. And some countries do not need a visa or tourist card. To find out if you need to have a visa, you can visit this website or read this article about visa FAQ.
Moreover, there are also lucky countries that only need a passport. The Dominican Republic allows citizens from eight countries to enter without a visa or a tourist card (tourism entry tax). These lucky people are from Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Israel, Perú, South Korea, Japan, Uruguay. But the citizens from countries such as Saudi Arabia, Armenia, Belarus, Egypt, Haiti, the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Syria, Romania, Indonesia, Venezuela, Montenegro, and others have to get a visa to go to the Dominican Republic. The whole list of the countries you can check on this official website.
2. Tourist card
As we already have mentioned, a tourist card is a tourism entry tax launched by the Dominican Republic under the law. This card allows you to visit the country without a need for a consular visa. Having it, you can get a legal stay of up to 30 days. Moreover, it is not difficult to get a tourist card.
In a word, you need to have a passport and your credit/debit card. In addition, most people who travel by air, get a card automatically with the purchase of an air ticket. And those who travel by land or water must apply, and a card will be processed within a day.
Nevertheless, many tourists forget to extend their stay or decide to stay longer than they initially thought in the Dominican Republic. So, if you are a tourist and overdue the allotted time, it is a perfect time to face fines or fees. The tourist needs to go to the offices of the Direccion General de Migracion or to pay at the airport when leaving the country.
The prices that you will need to pay depends on the length of your overstay in the country. To get more information, read our article about the length of your stay in the Dominican Republic.
Is it safe to travel to the DR due to coronavirus?
As we already noted, tourism in Punta Cana is resuming, and workers in this sector are actively using every precaution to cope with the pandemic. On average, in December 2021, about 31 infections were registered per 100 000 people. So far, the Dominican Republic has administered over 14 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Also, all tourism workers in hotels must be vaccinated. There are three vaccines approved for use in the Dominican Republic, which are Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca, and CoronaVac. In addition, we remind you that all persons 12 years and older must provide evidence of vaccination or a negative PCR test to get access to public spaces such as schools, gyms, businesses, restaurants, bars, public transport, and other public areas.
Is it safe to travel to the Dominican Republic today?
Well, our answer will be yes, since the Dominican Republic is considered one of the safest countries in the Caribbean. And Punta Cana is also one of the safest areas in the country. And we are sure that this is one of the reasons why it is the most visited destination in the whole Caribbean.
Nevertheless, you should not forget to keep an eye open in some remote areas, outside your resort at night. In addition, we do not recommend that you drive your own car in the Dominican Republic, as the locals have their own unique and dangerous rules that are different from the ones we follow.
That is why it is always way better and easier to rent a car or book a property with a company that knows everything about the country, locals and can help you with everything. Our company has accommodation only in safe and guarded areas, and we also adhere to all COVID-19 safety rules.
Watch our video about safety in the DR
To sum up
Summing up, you can see that the tourism business in the Dominican Republic is actively reviving. The workers in this field make every effort to provide foreign tourists with the best services. We can say that at the moment, travel to Punta Cana is safe.
Despite this, during a pandemic, it is necessary to choose a trusted company. The reason for this is to help you with all your questions and to ensure you have a safe stay by adhering to all coronavirus precautions. That is why we look forward to welcoming you to Punta Cana to give you an unforgettable experience!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is E-ticket required for the Dominican Republic?
Yes, all passengers entering or leaving the Dominican Republic on commercial flights have to fulfill the electronic entry and exit form, which is free.
2. How early can I fill out an E-ticket for the Dominican Republic?
Well, you can fill out the E-ticket form 72 hours before arrival in the Dominican Republic or right before going through immigration.
3. Do you need a QR code to leave the Dominican Republic?
Yes, the QR code is required to board the flight. You will get two QR codes after filling out the E-ticket form, since one is for entering and the other one for leaving.
4. What documents do I need to enter the Dominican Republic?
In fact, the list of documents may differ depending on which country you are a citizen of. For example, some need a visa, and some only need a passport. So, below, we have provided the most common package of documents that is relevant for citizens of the United States and most European countries.
- a valid passport with blank pages
- a tourist card
5. Do you need a negative COVID-19 test to fly to the Dominican Republic?
Well, you do not need to present your negative COVID-19 test upon arrival to enter the Dominican Republic. Nevertheless, airport workers randomly ask travelers to take a rapid test. But if you already have a negative COVID-19 tested at home or a vaccination certificate, you can just present it to workers. Do not forget that your test is only active for 72 hours. And after you show your negative test or certificate, workers will not ask you to get randomized testing.
6. Do I have to pay to leave the Dominican Republic?
There is a departure tax of US $20, which you have to pay when leaving the country. But we should note that most airlines include this tax in your ticket price. Nevertheless, we always recommend that you check the information with your airline directly.
7. Can I travel to the Dominican Republic without a passport?
No, you cannot go to the Dominican Republic without a passport. There is a passport requirement that you need a valid passport with at least one blank page for an entry stamp.
8. How much do I have to pay if I overstay in the Dominican Republic?
Well, the price for overstay depends on the length of your overstay. You should go to the office of the Direccion General de Migracion, or you can pay a fee at the airport. Nevertheless, we should say that the fees are not high. So, let us take a look at a small list with the prices that you will need to pay depending on the length of your stay.
- 1 day – 3 months will cost you RD $2 500
- 3 months – 9 months will cost you RD $4 000
- 9 months – 12 months will cost you about RD $5 000
- 12 months – 18 months will cost you RD $6 500
Note that prices are in Dominican Pesos (RD$) for better understanding. And Dominican Peso is not equal to US Dollar. You can use this page as a currency converter and check exchange rates for Dominican Peso.
9. Is a tourist card required for the Dominican Republic?
So, the tourist card is a visitor tax that allows tourists to enter the territory without the need for a consular visa. Also, it gives you a legal stay of up to 30 days. Moreover, it is not difficult at all to get a tourist card, since you just need to have a passport and a credit/debit card. Nevertheless, most airlines who travel by air automatically get a tourist card with the purchase of an air ticket. Also, those who travel by land or water should apply, and the card will be processed within one day. And then you will get an email with your tourist card.
Additionally, many tourists decide to stay longer in the Dominican Republic. As we already mentioned, a legal stay with a tourist card is up to 30 days. So, if you are a tourist and overdue the allotted time, you will face fines or fees, which will depend on the length of your overstay.
10. Do I have to quarantine if I go to the Dominican Republic?
No, you do not have to quarantine if you arrive in the Dominican Republic. You only need to isolate yourself if, after passing the COVID-19 test at the airport, your result is considered positive.
11. How do I get a tourist card for the Dominican Republic?
In general, you get it automatically with the purchase of an air ticket. And those who travel by land or water should apply, and the card will be processed for a short period.
12. What is the cost of the departure tax?
Well, the cost of the departure tax is US $20, and it is already included in your airline ticket fare.
13. How long can US citizens live in the Dominican Republic?
So, without a visa, a US citizen can legally stay up to 30 days. With a tourist card, you do not have to get a visa for tourist or business travel to the Dominican Republic.
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