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On Jan. 26, the Dominican Republic began offering complimentary antigen tests to all international visitors staying at a hotel, in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) new rule requiring all air passengers entering the U.S. to present a negative COVID-19 test result. This response followed in the footsteps of similar new statements from other destinations like Puerto Vallarta; hotel brands (like La Coleccion Resorts and Sandos Hotels and Resorts) across Mexico; airports across the U.S.; and the travel industry overall.

Technical health professionals at hotels from coast-to-coast around the Dominican Republic will administer these rapid tests on-site for free and the results will be certified by the Ministry of Health. For an additional cost, PCR tests will also be available to hotel guests. According to the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism (MITUR), on Jan. 19, the country’s laboratories are prepared to process 11,000 daily tests. To meet the new demand for visitors and locals, capacity will likely increase by 40% over the next three weeks.

Additionally, MITUR extended the free health coverage plan for tourists arriving on commercial flights and staying at a hotel. The plan is effective upon check-in at a hotel and covers all medical emergencies, including COVID-19 infection or exposure while in-country until March 31, 2021.

“The Dominican Republic continues to be committed to offering a safe tourist experience, both for those who visit us and for all Dominicans who participate in the industry’s productive chain. For this reason, we are continuously revising the measures to offer our visitors the necessary facilities they may need to enjoy their vacation and return home with a peace of mind,” said MITUR’s David Collado.

Do you know of any other destinations offering free COVID-19 testing? Tell us in the comments below.

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