Dominica is open for travelers — but you'll need to start planning your paperwork well in advance
As the travel industry reopens following COVID-19 shutdowns, TPG suggests that you talk to your doctor, follow health officials' guidance and research local travel restrictions before booking that next trip. We will be here to help you prepare, whether it is next month or next year.
The small island nation of Dominica opens for travelers on Aug. 7. Here's what we know so far, and what you should prepare if you decide to visit.
Sign up for TPG's daily newsletter to stay up to date on travel news
Related: Dreaming of a sandy beach? A country-by-country guide to the Caribbean
What to expect
All eligible travelers arriving in Dominica must follow the procedures below in order to enter the country:
- Submit a health questionnaire online at least 24 hours prior to arrival which asks for contact and travel information, as well as recent travel history. You'll also be asked to share detailed medical information including current and recent health, as well as smoking and drinking habits.
- Present notification of clearance to travel in the form of a doctor's note or similar document
- Submit a negative PCR test result recorded within 24-72 hours prior to arrival
As with many other countries accepting U.S. tourists, visitors must also adhere to stringent on-site policies around social distancing and safe hygiene, including:
- Wearing face masks at all times during the arrival process, up to and including departure from the airport
- Observing physical distancing guidelines
- Following all instructions from local health care staff and officials
- Undergoing a health assessment upon arrival, including a temperature check
- Providing confirmation of the health questionnaire and negative PCR test results
- Undergoing rapid COVID-19 test screening with a negative test result (children under five are exempt).
Any traveler with a high temperature, high risk alert from their questionnaire or positive rapid test will be given a PCR test, and be taken into mandatory quarantine at a government-approved facility or hotel at their expense until results are available. If the follow-up test result is positive, the traveler may be quarantined until released by an authorized health professional.
Related: 4 Caribbean ports to explore in a day, including Antigua
How to get there and where to stay
Unfortunately, Dominica may be opening for tourism — but routes are few and far between, often with long layovers and extravagant prices, even in economy.
The cheapest flights we found originate out of New York (JFK) and stop in San Juan (SJU) en route to Dominica (DOM) for $492 round trip in economy in September on JetBlue.
American Airlines has flights from Miami via Charlotte for $657 roundtrip in main cabin. Or you could fly from New York-JFK via Miami and San Juan for $556. I didn't have much luck looking for award space in late summer or fall, and in fact I couldn't get it to price in miles for any period I searched. Inventory for the resumed flights may still be loading.
The Dominica Environmental Health Department (EHD) has implemented stringent safety measures for hotels interested in hosting visiting tourists. Approved hotels receive a certificate of approval and to date, six Dominica hoteliers have reached compliance with the EHD. They are:
- Banana Lama Eco Villas in the Dominica rainforests
- Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski
- Hotel Des Champs (a five-room hotel)
- Mango Garden Cottages (open upon request)
- Riverside Hotel Picard Dominica
- Rosalie Bay Resort
- Tamarind Tree Hotel Dominica
Related: Jamaica is open to tourists, but only if you follow all of these rules
The Oceanfront Honeymoon Suite at the Rosalie Bay Resort costs just $225 per night.
Meantime, a standard room at the Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski begins at $255 for non-Caribbean natives.
Don't forget: You can use points on a fixed-value credit card to "erase" statement charges for cash-based expenses.