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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
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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.

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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  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
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Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 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.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases