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Come October, you won't need a negative COVID test to enter the Dominican Republic

Aug. 27, 2020
4 min read
Come October, you won't need a negative COVID test to enter the Dominican Republic
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The island nation of the Dominican Republic reopened for tourism on July 1. Right now, you'll need a negative PCR COVID-19 test result in order to enter the country. But by the end of September, the Dominican Republic will allow travelers to forgo the pre-travel test requirement in favor of random, on-site rapid testing procedures.

Lucien Echavarria, Director at the Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic, told the Caribbean Journal in late June that the country would be prepared to welcome international visitors at the beginning of the second half of 2020.

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“Throughout [the COVID-19 pandemic] we have remained in close contact with our tourism partners from operators to hoteliers to agencies,” Echavarria said. “We are ready and we know we are in a position to be among the fastest to recover because we are close and safe.”

Unlike many other destinations, the Dominican Republic opened all of its regions at once, with all airports reopening to tourists on July 1. “We didn’t want to do this region by region,” Echavarria said. “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.”

Related: Caribbean islands reopening, country by country

Echavarria said that the country was aiming to have half of the country’s hotels open in July, with the remaining properties expected to reopen in November.

Here's everything you need to know before planning a trip to the Dominican Republic.

Though the testing guidelines will change in October, the country's tourism website has yet to be updated to reflect this information.

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Related: Bermuda is reopening on July 1

Upon arrival

After a pause in spring and early summer, the nation's airports resumed commercial operations on July 1, including Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ), the Dominican Republic's busiest airport. Much of the inbound traffic to Punta Cana comes from New York and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

According to the Caribbean Journal, Echavarria said that all passengers should expect multiple safety precautions at all Dominican Republic airports, including temperature checks upon arrival. Hotels are also preparing their own health and safety precautions for incoming guests.

How to get there and Where to stay

Airlines

Google Flights shows a number of airlines operating flights to the Dominican Republic. The cheapest flights we found were under $200 round trip in early October on Spirit from Atlanta, or from $204 on JetBlue between Newark and Santo Domingo (SDQ).

On Spirit between Atlanta (ATL) and Santo Domingo (SDQ) in early October:

On JetBlue between Newark (EWR) and Santo Domingo (SDQ) in mid-October:


To Punta Cana (PUJ) from Atlanta (ATL) from $263 round trip on JetBlue:

If you prefer to stick with legacy U.S. carriers, the lowest fares begin at $270 round trip with one stop, or in the low $400s for nonstop basic economy flights.

Hotels

Once you get to the Dominican Republic, you've got a few options for stays. The adults-only all-inclusive Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana and its family-friendly sister property, the Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana, are both available from around $250 per night.

At the Zilara Cap Cana, for instance, rooms average $237/night in mid-September.

If you end up staying for two full weeks, you can even take advantage of the chain's work-from-Hyatt packages, which offer complimentary high-speed internet, waived resort fees, a dedicated workspace, housekeeping, and discounted or complimentary laundry services. As a bonus, your work-stay package will also count toward status if you pay with cash instead of points.

Another top-rated TPG favorite, the all-inclusive Reserve at Paradisus Punta Cana, begins at $283/night before taxes and fees. As always, you can pay for reservations at properties like the Paradisus using a credit card that allows you to "erase" charges on your statement.

Featured image by Hyatt Cap Cana in Punta Cana (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

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  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
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Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

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10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

    Earn 10,000 Bonus Points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    Fair/Good

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees