CDC Increases Covid Health Risk To High For One Of The Most Popular Destinations For Americans


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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention bumped up the Dominican Republic to its Level 3: High Level of Covid risk category on Monday.

The Dominican Republic previously sat at a Level 2: Moderate risk for Covid since May, and the popular vacation destination is now officially listed at Level 3 with a number of other nations around the world. We’ve got all the details for travelers below.

bird's eye view of palm trees, turquoise water and pink/white sand beach in the Dominican Republic.

CDC Rating System Overhaul: Information For International Travelers

The CDC restructured its Covid rating system this past April, which is one that was in place since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. In the update, the Level 4: Very High risk category was changed to Do Not Travel: Special Circumstances.

The switch bumped a lot of European nations from the Level 4 to Level 3 category, many of which still remain on the list.

At this time, there aren’t any countries in the new Level 4 category, but you can check for updates on the CDC’s website. To review, Level 2 means a “moderate” amount of risk and a Level 1 ranking is “low” risk when it comes to Covid.

Tropical river Chavon in Dominican Republic. Vocation and travel. Ancient village Altos de Chavon - Colonial town reconstructed in Casa de Campo, La Romana, Dominican Republic.

Dominican Republic Is Now ‘High’ Risk – What Does This Mean For Travelers?

This new CDC Covid health-risk ranking means that all nations listed as Level 3 are currently at the highest degree of risk for the virus.

To get a Level 3 ranking, it means that there are more than 100 reported cases of Covid-19 out of 100,000 residents over a consecutive 28-day period. On top of the Dominican Republic, the Middle Eastern nation of Kuwait was added to the CDC’s Level 3 list this week.

While this means that travel is still permitted to the Dominican Republic, the CDC does offer some guidelines for tourists planning to visit the Caribbean nation now that Covid cases are rising throughout the region:

  • It’s recommended that all travelers be up to date with their vaccinations against the virus and to avoid travel if not fully vaccinated.
  • Because all travelers may still be at risk of contracting and spreading the virus even if they have received their vaccinations, it’s best to remain vigilant when visiting the Dominican Republic.
  • Carry a well-fitting face mask with you when you leave your hotel room and wear it in all public indoor spaces throughout your trip.
  • Follow all guidelines when traveling to and throughout airports (in the US and at your travel destination) during your trip.
  • The CDC also recommends taking a Covid viral test three days prior to departure or as close to your departure time as possible.
Dominican Republic, Saona Island - Mano Juan Beach. Fishermen's village

High-Risk Countries For Covid, According To The CDC

Here’s a review of some of the other popular travel destinations currently listed at Level 3 as of June 27th, 2022:

  • Anguilla
  • Aruba
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Costa Rica
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Mexico
  • The Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Turks and Caicos
  • The UK
boats at the beach in the Dominican Republic.

Dominican Republic Welcomed ‘Record-Breaking’ Amount Of Tourists In Spring 2022

Travel in the Dominican Republic has skyrocketed in 2022 as Covid health-related restrictions have been dropping around the world. The hype was so big that the nation actually broke its record for the highest number of international arrivals of all-time in April of 2022.

The Caribbean country welcomed a total of 626,000 travelers in April, which was the first time it received more than 600,000 international arrivals in a full calendar month. Travelers arrived via air and by cruise ship, with over 129,000 cruise ship passengers recorded in the Dominican Republic that month. The highest number of international arrivals to DR were US Americans as well as Canadian tourists.

Punta Cana sign with a red love heart on display in a storefront in Punta Cana, a popular vacation destination in the Dominican Republic.

Safety And Travel In The Dominican Republic

The popular Caribbean destination dropped its pre-departure testing and quarantine requirements for international travelers in October of 2020 and the country slowly began welcoming tourists back.

Throughout much of the pandemic, some restrictions were in place for travelers and locals alike on the ground, such as mandatory mask-wearing in public spaces as well as a nationwide evening curfew.

aerial view of the beach in punta cana Dominican Republic on a sunny day.

Entry Requirements For The Dominican Republic: An Overview

In 2021 and into 2022, some entry restrictions remained for unvaccinated travelers to the Dominican Republic, which included a Covid breathalizer test upon arrival at the airport. All arrivals that tested positive were subject to quarantine.

On top of randomized testing upon arrival, pre-departure tests were put in place for some international tourists during the Omicron wave last year but they’ve since been removed. And in April 2022, the Dominican Republic officially removed all of its Covid-related entry requirements for travelers.

tourists sitting on and standing by a palm tree on the beach in the Dominican Republic.

Read More:

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories

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