PCR Test for Travel – Do I Need to Take a COVID-19 Test in the Dominican Republic?
PCR test is a diagnosis of coronavirus infection. It is highly sensitive even at the earliest stages of the infectious process, even before the onset of symptoms of the disease. Most test systems have a high sensitivity, but it does not reach 100% and in some cases, there may be false-negative results. Despite this, before going on vacation to the Dominican Republic, you need to know if you need a PCR test for travel.
There are two test systems for the diagnosis of COVID-19 in the world. The main test that diagnoses coronavirus infection is the polymerase chain reaction (PCR test). A swab is taken from a person’s throat or nose, and particles of the virus are looked for in the laboratory.
The second type is an express test for the presence of immunoglobulins (antibodies) in the blood. In order for the test to show the presence of antibodies in a person’s blood, there must be a certain concentration of them. It is not achieved immediately: the body must produce antibodies over a period of time (usually 5-7 days).
How to take a PCR test step by step:
- The examination of biomaterial (throat and nose swab)
- The test detects the RNA of the virus
- Determining the presence of infection in the early stages
Do you need a PCR test for travel to the DR?
The Dominican Republic offers foreign tourists some of the most loyal entry conditions. Foreign guests will not have to take a PCR test upon arrival: workers will randomly select travelers to take a rapid test. Read also the additional important information below.
- If you already have a negative test that you did not more than 72 hours ago, you can show it, and you will not be assigned a random test. You should also pay attention to the fact that it has to be a viral test (PCR or antigen) and not an antibody test.
- Also, you do not need to take a test when checking in a hotel.
- What to do with PCR tests when you leave the Dominican Republic? Currently, all air passengers returning home, regardless of vaccination or antibody status, must provide a negative COVID-19 test result or documents about their recovery.
Due to the constant change of information and individual requirements for each country, we recommend that you clarify all points with your travel agency or airline. Especially, this concerns the fact that when you are already returning home, you need to know whether you need to do a test in advance before departure.
Where can you do the Covid tests in Punta Cana and Bavaro?
1. In the hotel
Due to the decision of the government of the Dominican Republic to provide free rapid tests for the presence of antigen to COVID-19 by medical personnel in hotels and to assist in carrying out PCR tests to tourists, a total of 63 hotels in the country are already providing these services in or near their facilities.
The favorable epidemiological situation remains in the resorts of the Dominican Republic. The initiative of doing tests in the hotel is offered to all foreign guests who are required to present at the border the result of a PCR test or rapid test for the presence of antigen to COVID-19, performed 72 hours before returning home. And by the latest requirements, some countries such as the United States and Spain have to do it.
For the period of August and September, the average number of cases daily is about 270 people. And compared to other countries, this is rather a low result.
2. In the hospital
The clinics and laboratories in the country have the opportunity to conduct tests 72 hours before departure. So, Punta Cana, Puerto Plata, and Santo Domingo can meet current and future demands. Now, the hospitals take about 6-11 thousand COVID-19 tests per day.
You can also have a test at a hospital laboratory. For example, the samples are collected at Centro Medico Punta Cana, IMG Hospital and other clinics. Moreover, you should remember that hospital laboratories serve only to take samples which are later sent to specialized equipped laboratories, such as Amadita or Referencia.
So, here is a reason why it may take longer to get your result when you take a test at a hospital laboratory than when you go to the Amadita laboratory directly. In addition, to find out more detailed information, read our article, where we wrote about where you can take a test in the Dominican Republic.
How much does a PCR test cost?
The cost of a COVID-19 test in the Dominican Republic is about US$ 75 in private laboratories. Moreover, by paying this amount, you can avoid wasting a lot of time in queues. Well, you need to come to one of the laboratories, pay for the test and get the result in about a few hours. But in other labs or hospitals, it can take much longer. And in hotels, this price varies from US$ 79 to US$ 150.
Moreover, it is possible to do the RT PCR at home or your hotel room. Some clinics or laboratories may offer “home visits” at an additional cost. So, you should contact your hotel or the laboratory directly for more details.
As you can see, the rules in the Dominican Republic are one of the most loyal. Despite this, you should strictly follow them. Well, the coronavirus is still there, so do not forget about it. Remember to wear your mask correctly and keep your distance. Do not put yourself and others at risk. And we look forward to welcoming you to Punta Cana!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in the Dominican Republic?
Yes, you need to have a viral test (PCR or antigen) but not an antibody test.
2. Can I get a rapid test?
Well, you can get this test at the airport. The workers will randomly select travelers to take a rapid test.
3. Why does the Order specify 3 days rather than 72 hours? What is considered 3 days?
It means the 3 days before the flight’s departure. So, a 3-day timeframe instead of 72 hours is used to provide more flexibility to the travelers. Well, by using a 3-day timeframe, test validity does not depend on the time of day that the test was administered or the time of the flight. Therefore, it is much more convenient for you.
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