With the opening of the Dominican Republic to international tourism since July 1, the Ministries of Tourism (MITUR) and Public Health have jointly begun the inspection of hotel establishments and companies in the sector to guarantee compliance with the General Protocol of Tourist Activities in the prevention of COVID-19.

The protocol, announced to the different agents and companies in the sector before the reopening of the borders and the resumption of activity, was born from the joint work of the Ministry of the Presidency and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition to the general measures applicable to the entire economic fabric, such as social distancing, the use of masks, the expansion of hygienic conditions or the reinforcement of sanitary measures, this sector protocol for tourism includes an extensive number of hygienic measures- health and prevention for all types of scenarios within the hotel industry, leisure, transport and restaurants.

Arrival at the accommodations
According to the document, all guests must undergo a health check upon arrival at their accommodations, which goes through a temperature check and a «health and travel» statement in which they undertake to report any symptoms or if have had direct contact with people diagnosed with COVID-19. The communication plan between staff and tourists is key when applying protocols and preventing infections effectively, so it must be ensured that customers are informed at all times in a clear and unambiguous way.

Common areas, isolation and medical station
In common areas, all accommodations must have hydroalcoholic gel, as well as intensify cleaning and disinfection of areas, guarantee adequate ventilation of spaces and enforce all regulations for capacity and social distancing in common areas, swimming pools and private beaches. Entertainment activities will only take place if interpersonal distance can be met.

To ensure prompt action in the event of possible or already confirmed cases, all accommodations must have a certain number of rooms isolated from the rest that allow the care of such patients. For this, a part of the staff will have received specific training and will have all the necessary protective equipment.

Likewise, all hotels, whatever their size and capacity, must have a medical station with at least one qualified healthcare professional.

Bars and restaurants
Although the development of leisure activities such as recreational and aquatic parks, guided tours or horseback riding is allowed, as well as maritime transport and water sports, these must be carried out in compliance with all hygienic-sanitary measures. The providers of such activities must guarantee the disinfection of their services, take the temperature of the clients and ensure compliance with social distance and the use of the mask.

The protocol also includes measures for bars and restaurants, whose activity is intrinsically linked to tourism. Until August 24, only those with tables in open areas with natural ventilation may open, and they must do so in compliance with all disinfection, food safety and general distancing regulations between people.