Extremely widespread amongst Americans, significantly at a time when different sunny locations like Maui go for stricter protocols, the Dominican Republic (DR) has been singled out by the U.S. Department of State as an extraordinarily high-risk vacation spot for Covid.
According to their website, the DR is at the moment outlined as a “Level 4” nation, which means Americans ought to chorus from visiting for non-necessary functions, together with tourism. Besides well being points caused by Covid, heightened crime ranges are additionally talked about.
What Is The Advice For Americans Visiting The Dominican Republic?
Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 4 warning for the Dominican Republic, principally because of the current spike in Omicron instances noticed across the Caribbean.
It implies that, whereas Americans are nonetheless technically allowed to fly to Punta Cana or Santo Domingo for his or her long-awaited seaside getaway, their dangers of getting contaminated with Covid whereas vacationing anyplace within the nation are “very high”.
In spite of higher well being dangers, the advisory notes those that have been vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine, resembling Pfizer or Moderna, are higher protected towards growing extreme signs when in comparison with the unvaccinated.
Aside from the deteriorating well being scenario within the DR, which joins an increasing number of Caribbean hotspots on the CDC’s Level 4 itemizing, the Department of State additionally attracts consideration to crime charges.
As said on the Dominican Republic Travel Advisory, violent crime is a explanation for concern for U.S. passport holders, with ranges of armed theft, murder, and sexual assault being reportedly larger than different Caribbean locations.
For that motive, Americans ought to train “increased caution” when visiting the Dominican Republic.
Recently, the Quintana Roo state in Mexico has additionally been struggling to drive down crime charges, especially in places such as Cancun and Playa del Carmen, following a string of executions and gang-related actions within the space.
When touring to the Dominican Republic, U.S. residents are suggested to observe the U.S. Embassy’s web page for updates, pay attention to their environment, not bodily resist to theft makes an attempt, and keep away from displaying indicators of wealth, resembling costly jewellery sporting.
While not included within the advisory and never a requirement for guests to the DR, we additionally advise our readers to take out Covid insurance before flying, as no journey is risk-free whereas Omicron is but to be managed.
Foreign Minister Insists Crime Is Not Behind The Travel Warning
Despite the Level 4 warning, which emphasizes safety issues for vacationers within the DR, Foreign Minister Roberto Álvarez has mentioned the journey advisory “is not due to citizen insecurity but rather the prevalence of the Omicron variant”.
As he identified, a number of nations are additionally coping with the variant, with Mexico itself edging nearer to putting resort-packed Cancun on highest “Red Level” alert, and several other European nations requiring booster shots of American and Canadian vacationers beginning February 1.
As claimed by Álvarez, the assessment on journey dangers was made based mostly on Omicron traits alone, with a collection of nations additionally being reclassified “because of that issue”. He sought to reassure Americans, who’re a few of the nation’s most frequent guests, that the Level 4 alert is not a results of any specific violent incident.
Additionally, he said the change wouldn’t have an effect on tourism, highlighting the excessive degree of safety within the nation and the inhabitants’s vaccination ranges. Corroborating the affirmations, the U.S. Department of State additionally experiences the event of a “professional tourist police corps” and the establishment of a 911 system throughout the Dominican Republic.
As included within the advisory, resort areas are typically higher policed, whereas crime tends to be larger in giant city facilities like Santo Domingo. On the opposite hand, the nation struggles with a “wide availability of weapons“, besides the commercialization of illicit drugs, and a “weak criminal justice system”.
Unfazed by the stark journey warnings issued by the United States, the Dominican Republic is already set to open four new destinations within the close to future, in addition to teaming up with Costa Rica and Panama in launching a new tourism route that can profit American vacationers.
What Are The Rules For Visiting The Dominican Republic From The U.S.?
Presently, U.S. passport holders can journey to the Dominican Republic with out proof of a vaccination file and pre-departure testing, though they might nonetheless be chosen for random assessments when touchdown.
Those who’re in a position to produce a vaccination card, or who maintain a adverse PCR taken inside 72 hours of touring are exempt from any shock testing.
There could also be further necessities when flying to the DR from different departure factors, resembling choose states in Brazil and just a few nations in Europe, together with the United Kingdom, Ireland and Sweden. More data is obtainable here.
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Disclaimer: Current journey guidelines and restrictions can change with out discover. The choice to journey is in the end your duty. Contact your consulate and/or native authorities to verify your nationality’s entry and/or any adjustments to journey necessities earlier than touring. Travel Off Path doesn’t endorse touring towards authorities advisories