Extremely widespread amongst Americans, notably 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 present outlined as a “Level 4” nation, that 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 as a result of 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 seashore getaway, their dangers of getting contaminated with Covid whereas vacationing anyplace within the nation are “very high”.
In spite of better well being dangers, the advisory notes those that have been vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine, corresponding to Pfizer or Moderna, are higher protected towards creating extreme signs when in comparison with the unvaccinated.
Aside from the deteriorating well being state of affairs 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 reason for concern for U.S. passport holders, with ranges of armed theft, murder, and sexual assault being reportedly greater than different Caribbean locations.
For that purpose, 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 comply with the U.S. Embassy’s web page for updates, concentrate on their environment, not bodily resist to theft makes an attempt, and keep away from displaying indicators of wealth, corresponding to 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 stated 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 a number of other European international locations requiring booster shots of American and Canadian vacationers beginning February 1.
As claimed by Álvarez, the evaluation on journey dangers was made based mostly on Omicron developments 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 stage of safety within the nation and the inhabitants’s vaccination ranges. Corroborating the affirmations, the U.S. Department of State additionally studies 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 greater in massive 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 report 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 destructive PCR taken inside 72 hours of touring are exempt from any shock testing.
There could also be extra necessities when flying to the DR from different departure factors, corresponding to choose states in Brazil and just a few nations in Europe, together with the United Kingdom, Ireland and Sweden. More info is on the market here.
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Disclaimer: Current journey guidelines and restrictions can change with out discover. The determination to journey is finally your duty. Contact your consulate and/or native authorities to substantiate your nationality’s entry and/or any adjustments to journey necessities earlier than touring. Travel Off Path doesn’t endorse touring towards authorities advisories