The Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic (MITUR) recently presented a series of safety protocols that all tour operators and tourist establishments must follow in order to protect the health of tourists and residents.
These documents, which can be downloaded from the ministry's website, detail the additional security measures that have been in place since July 1st, which was the date on which tourism was reactivated.
"The measures included in the protocols are the result of extensive work and coordination between the government and private organizations," said the Minister of Tourism, Francisco Javier García in a press release. “All security measures comply with the recommendations of the World Health Organization and aim to guarantee the security of all those involved in tourism, ranging from service providers to visitors. Our fundamental principle is to create a framework and tools allowing us to offer exceptional tourist experiences while respecting the most rigorous standards in the industry.”
Additional airport protocols
- On arrival, all passengers will be subject to a temperature control when disembarking from the aircraft. If a passenger has a temperature above 38 ° C or any other symptoms, the airport authorities will pass a rapid COVID-19 test to them and will set up the necessary isolation and treatment protocols.
- Airport terminals have defined directives requiring physical distance as well as the mandatory use of face masks for employees and passengers.
- Passengers must complete and present a statutory declaration on their health in the immigration and customs forms provided by the airline or by the Dominican authorities. Through this form, passengers declare that they have not experienced any symptoms related to COVID-19 in the past 72 hours and indicate their contact details for the next 30 days.
Operating hotels must respect the following:
- Take the temperature of each client at check-in and have them sign a health declaration.
- Provide customers with masks and antibacterial gel.
- Redistribution of hotel spaces to respect distances in all common areas (reception, restaurants, swimming pools, etc.).
- Baggage disinfection.
- Elimination of self-service food outlets, so that utensils are only handled by establishment staff.
- Special protocols for the care and isolation of people with COVID-19 symptoms.
A certification program has been established thanks to the creation of a Quality Council headed by the National Association of Hotel and Tourism (ASONAHORES) which will ensure that establishments comply with regulations, which will guarantee a safe stay for visitors.
As a reminder, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana was expected to welcome customers from July 1st, while the neighboring properties Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana and Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana accept reservations from July 22nd onwards. The Club Med Punta Cana is expected to reopen on October 17th.
Bars and restaurants also have an obligation to their patrons. The following rules are now in effect for both types of establishments:
- Cleaning and disinfection of all tables between each client.
- Bi-weekly COVID-19 tests for all staff working in the establishment.
- Capacity is limited to 35% to ensure sufficient distance between customers
- Customers must wear a mask to enter the different spaces, but they can remove it when seated at their table.
- Antibacterial gel dispensers will be placed in all bars, in places easily accessible to customers.
- Distance of at least two meters between tables and number of guests limited to ten per table.
- Implementation of digital menus, printed menus for single use or other options to reduce physical contact.
- Use of food disinfectants for raw consumed products.
- Frequent disinfection of all surfaces that employees or customers frequently touch.
- Take the temperature of each passenger before boarding any means of transport as part of an excursion.
- Complete sanitation of all equipment used by customers (tanks, masks, paddles, etc.) before and after use.
- All boats will be disinfected before and after each use.
- Maintain a determined safety distance throughout the activity.
Other tourist activities
These guidelines apply to horse riding, sightseeing, zip lines, theme parks and paintball.
- Reduction of vehicle occupancy to 50 % to respect the safety distances between customers.
- Use of masks inside all vehicles.
- Preparation of one-way routes to avoid crossing other groups.
- Disinfection of all surfaces and all equipment with which customers come into contact (reins, harnesses, helmets, vests, etc.).