Dominican Republic, Jamaica and More Caribbean Destinations Update COVID-19 Rules


Beautiful Caribbean beach on Saona Island, Dominican Republic. (photo via czekma13 / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

The Dominican Republic has become the latest nation to drop its COVID-19 restrictions, as the popular tourist destination joins many of its Caribbean Island countries is welcoming travelers back to bolster tourism.

Despite not meeting a previously announced target of having 70 percent of the country’s adults vaccinated against the virus, the Dominican Republic government nonetheless rescinded public health restrictions, according to Reuters News Service.

That includes the mask mandate as well as vaccine checks in public areas such as restaurants and hotels.

“It’s time to recover all our freedoms and way of life,” Dominican Republic President Luis Abinader said on social media and in a televised address.

Health Minister Daniel Rivera said a worldwide drop in positive cases and in the death rate convinced Dominican Republic officials to rescind the restrictions.

The D.R. was not the only Caribbean nation to start loosening COVID-19 rules in order to boost tourism, the lifeblood of most island countries.

Visitors to Jamaica will no longer need the Travel Authorization, and travel-related quarantine measures beginning March 1.

Children 12 years and older will still need to provide a negative COVID-19 test (antigen or PCR) conducted within 72 hours prior to the date of travel at check-in.

The island of St. Maarten also has a March 1 target date to transition from pandemic status to endemic. All fully vaccinated visitors or those who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last nine months no longer have to show proof of a negative test upon arrival. Unvaccinated visitors will still be required to provide a negative PCR test within 48 hours arrival or an antigen test within 24 hours.

Two weeks after Aruba eased its rules on international visitors, officials said they are lifting regulations that will allow restaurants and businesses to return to normal operating hours and with no limits on capacity.

For a deeper dive on new entry protocols in the Caribbean, check out the podcast by TravelPulse island experts Brian Major and JetSetSarah for more information.

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