Travel Guidelines Dominican Republic – The Dominican Republic is one of the most visited destinations in the Caribbean. It’s not hard to see why; An endless stretch of white-sand beaches and palm trees hosts similarly sized holiday resorts. The country has gained a reputation for a good quality brake at a reasonable price.
With 32 kilometers (20 miles) of beaches and clear blue seas, the area around Punta Cana on the east coast is particularly popular, offering golf courses, all-inclusive holidays and the usual fun in-the-sun trappings.
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The Dominican Republic makes up about half of the island of Hispaniola – which it shares with Haiti to the west. The country is one of the most geographically diverse parts of the Caribbean, displaying everything from tropical rainforests and high mountains to mangroves and semi-deserts. Mountain-bikers, windsurfers, hikers, climbers and even whale watchers are well catered for.
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However, the Dominican Republic bustles with life, blending the noble rhythms of merengue and bachata music, a passion for rum and religion, not to mention an unmatched passion for baseball.
The country has a long history. It was the first part of the area discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492. A visit to the capital city of Santo Domingo is the most natural starting point for cultural visitors. The oldest fortress, Fortaleza Osama (built in 1502) and colonial-era churches still stand proudly, while the city as a whole is a vibrant destination full of speaker-blaring corner stores and dance-to-you-drop nightclubs.
Although it is a large country by Caribbean standards, it is relatively easy to combine the various elements of the destination into one trip. Whether you’re here for the beaches, the music, the countryside or the culture, the DR is a force to be reckoned with in full swing.
See the TravelHealthPro website for more advice on traveling abroad and reducing the spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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See entry requirements to find out what to do when you arrive in the Dominican Republic.
No travel is risk-free during Covid-19. Due to the new COVID-19 variant, countries may further restrict travel or introduce new rules at short notice. Check with your travel company or airline for transportation changes that may delay your trip home.
If you test positive for Covid-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. Treatment may need to be sought there as well.
Dominican authorities announced Wednesday, February 16, 2022, that all COVID-19 measures, including mandatory mask wearing, social distancing, and proof of vaccination in public spaces and private spaces for public use, have been suspended with immediate effect.
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If you think you have been exposed to Covid-19, you can get a Covid-19 test at any time. Dominican authorities recommend a covid-19 test 5 days after your initial exposure.
If you test positive for Covid-19 in the Dominican Republic, you must isolate for 7 days, even if you are asymptomatic. 7 days after your original positive result, if you are asymptomatic, you can resume business as usual and practice the strict use of masks for at least 10 days after your diagnosis.
Changes to COVID-19 measures may occur at short notice. You should monitor local media and follow instructions from the police or Dominican authorities. You must adhere to the Dominican rules listed below and regularly check this page and the British Embassy social media channels on Twitter and Facebook for updates.
You will need to fill out a Covid Traveler’s Health Affidavit before traveling to the Dominican Republic. It is part of an online form, which includes the Covid Travelers Health Affidavit, Customs Declaration and International Boarding / Disembarkation forms. Before your trip, you can complete the form through the Dominican Republic’s electronic ticket portal.
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The Dominican Republic’s air borders are open, with commercial options departing to the US, Spain, France and other countries. If you are returning to the UK, read the travel advice to check the entry/transit requirements for any country you are transiting and to check the UK Government requirements.
If you plan to travel to the airport you must observe all social distancing measures. Airports are implementing measures including social distancing, use of masks and temperature checks at terminals. You must arrive in sufficient time and follow instructions from the police or Dominican authorities.
Hotels have now reopened and the Dominican government has drawn up detailed rules for hotel operations during Covid. You must follow any government or hotel social distancing measures.
On Wednesday, February 16, Dominican authorities announced a temporary suspension of all COVID-19 measures. We will continue to update as more details matter. Follow the instructions of the Dominican authorities. Restaurants, hotels, gyms, workplaces, schools, universities, public transportation, and other services may have their own policies that require you to follow them. You can find more information on the official Dominican government website.
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Mask use is still mandatory in public and private health facilities and on public transport, including airports. Local or regional authorities may impose additional restrictions. You must follow any instructions or announcements, including the closing of beaches or other public spaces.
If you develop symptoms of coronavirus while in the Dominican Republic, you should stay in your home or hotel room and seek medical attention (if staying in a hotel, contact the hotel’s medical staff). Follow the advice of your medical experts and local authorities on self-isolation or other covid measures.
For more information and guidance, check the dedicated government website (in Spanish) or the official Dominican Republic website (in English).
Your emotional and mental well-being is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental health and mental health
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If you require urgent consular assistance, you can contact the British Embassy on + 1 809 472 7111. Select option 1 for English and then option 2 for consular emergencies.
The Dominican Republic is friendly and welcoming, and the vast majority of visits to the country are hassle-free. However, there is a high crime rate, ranging from opportunistic crimes such as pickpocketing and pickpocketing to violent crime.
Petty crimes, including pickpocketing and robbery, occur throughout the country. Do not wear expensive jewelry or carry large sums of money or valuables such as smart phones or cameras on the street. Keep electronic devices out of sight and use a hotel safe whenever possible. Do not leave your bags or other belongings on chairs or tables in restaurants, bars, or on chairs.
Drive-by robberies can occur, where thieves on motorcycles grab bags and valuables from pedestrians and sometimes steal items through car windows at red lights. Victims are sometimes injured in the process. Keep valuables out of sight and if you have a bag, carry it on the side from the street. If traveling by car, drive with doors and windows closed.
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Violent crimes and armed robberies against foreigners sometimes occur, especially in large cities. There have been several incidents in Santo Domingo of foreigners being held up at gunpoint or knifepoint while walking through residential districts during the day.
Be especially careful at night and in remote areas. If you are robbed, do not resist as this increases the risk of victimization. Even if you can’t see a weapon, be aware that your attacker may be armed. Do not use unregistered taxis, or hail a taxi on the street: use an authorized airport or hotel taxi service or book a taxi from a trusted provider.
There have been incidents of assault, rape and sexual assault against foreigners, including at beach resorts. In some cases, hotel staff or fellow guests are involved. Be cautious when interacting with strangers or recent acquaintances, be cautious about rides or other invitations, avoid walking alone at night, and don’t leave drinks unattended.
If you are a victim of sexual assault or other crime, you should report it to the British Embassy immediately. If you wish, consular staff can help you report the incident to the local authorities, explain the process and help with the language barrier if necessary. No criminal investigation is possible without filing a formal complaint with Dominican authorities before leaving the country.
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If your passport is lost or stolen, you should obtain a police report before contacting the British Embassy. The English-speaking Tourist Police (CESTUR) can be contacted at +1-809-200-3500.
Swimming pools or beaches may not have lifeguards, and safety and rescue equipment may not be available.
The sea is dangerous, especially during the hurricane season (June-November). Seek local advice on sea conditions and warning systems and follow instructions.
Leisure and adventure tourism providers do not necessarily meet UK safety standards. Check safety standards and ensure you are insured if you participate in activities such as water sports, quad biking and horse riding. If in doubt seek advice from your tour operator.
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Taxis are cheap but many are broken. There have been cases of theft from taxis, so keep valuables and money safe. Tourist taxis are safer, more reliable, and more
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