Economy Minister Juan Ariel Jimenez announced a gradual reopening of the tourism industry starting 1 July 2020. He said the government would be publishing the health guidelines and safety protocols over the weekend. Restaurants outside of hotels will not be reopening, but resorts are being given the green light with restrictions. Bars, discos and casinos are not allowed to reopen yet.
Jimenez says the opening is to take advantage of the all-inclusive resort model that prevails in the country. The low-rise sprawled out resorts allow visitors to vacation, keeping physical distancing and there is less contact with the community, reducing the possibility of spread. He observed that the Punta Cana International Airport will be operating with the terminal that has natural ventilation to reduce the likelihood of spreading the virus.
There will be limitations to the reopening. Nighttime restrictions continue in place, despite the end of the nationwide curfew on 30 June 2020. Restaurants in tourist areas are only allowed to keep takeout and delivery services. Yet nature excursions are being allowed with strict protocols. These likewise need to be coordinated to avoid the conglomeration of groups at the same time. The Economy Minister mentioned the excursions will be by appointment.
Economy minister Jimenez said that international tourists will need to bring results of a PCR test with less than five days. In countries where there are difficulties in getting tested, the visitors will be required to test at the airport before being admitted to the country.
The National State of Emergency ends on 30 June 2020, and is being replaced by restrictions in the operation of businesses under the National Health Law 42-01.
Dr. Amado Alejandro Alvarez of the Covid Response Management Committee of the Medina administration said the new focus is on localized monitoring and testing. The local health experts say the country is trending towards intensifying efforts to control the disease in Greater Santo Domingo + San Cristobal urban area while keeping controls in the provinces and tourist areas where there is much less spread.
“In my opinion, we are now counting on solidarity and collective civism of Dominicans. Dominicans need to understand we need them to maintain physical distance, use of masks and hand washing until there is a vaccination to allow for herd immunity,“ he said.
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29 June 2020