The Dominican Republic reopened for international tourism on July 1st and about half of the country’s hotels will be reopening their doors throughout July, according to a report posted by Caribbean Journal.
Lucien Echavarria, director at the Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic, told the Caribbean newspaper that about 40-50 percent of the country’s hotel inventory would open its doors this month, with the remaining hotels expected to open in November.
The destination started receiving several flights on July 1st as Punta Cana International Airport resumed its commercial operations on that day.
“Throughout [the COVID-19 pandemic) we have remained in close contact with our tourism partners from operators to hoteliers to agencies,” Echavarria told the media outlet. “We are ready and we know we are in a position to be among the fastest to recover because we are close and safe.”
All airports now open
The director noted that all airports will be operational by July 1st, stressing the need to open the entire region at once.
“We didn’t want to do this region by region,” she was quoted as saying. “We didn’t want to do Punta Cana, then Puerto Plata and so on. No, we wanted to open the whole country so we can get back faster.”
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana, for example, was scheduled to welcome guests back as of July 1st while the nearby Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana and Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana properties are accepting reservations starting on July 22; Club Med Punta Cana is set to reopen on October 17th.
Hotels & restaurants open
As part of the DR’s coronavirus de-escalation process, the destination is now in “Phase 4,” which reopens hotels, airports, gyms and restaurants.
Visitors can expect enhanced health and safety protocols at hotels and resorts, states the country’s Ministry of Tourism.
"Members of the Association of Hotels and Tourism of Dominican Republic (ASONAHORES) have implemented thorough sanitation and hygiene measures, following the recommendations of the Ministry of Public Health,” reads a statement on godominicanrepublic.com. "When reopening, hotels will abide to strict protocols to offer a clean, safe environment, promote social distancing and the use of contact-free technologies."
New protocols in place
The protocols include ensuring that:
- Employees, contractors, and customers have access to the necessary hygiene services to prevent a spread of the virus;
- Alcohol-based gel dispensers have been made available in easily accessible places for workers and tourists, while notices have been put up with information on handwashing;
- Areas have been designated for isolating people who are sick until the public health authorities arrive, among other measures.
The Dominican Republic has 33,387 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 754 confirmed deaths, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University.
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