The Dominican Republic will gradually reopen for international tourism from Wednesday, July 1, as the country relaxes restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) will resume international flights from Wednesday to and from destinations such as New York City. Around 40-50 percent of hotels on the island will reopen in July with health and safety measures in place, while others are preparing to reopen from November.
The government of the Dominican Republic has confirmed that they will not extend a nationwide curfew which is due to expire on Sunday, June 28. They also confirmed they will not request a sixth extension to the national state of emergency in place to allow the government to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is due to expire on Tuesday, June 30. Presidential elections, originally scheduled for May 17, have been postponed to Sunday, July 5. Should a second round be necessary, it will be held on July 26.
Schools and entertainment centers are shut. Some nonessential businesses remain closed, while others have been permitted to reopen under certain social distancing and health conditions. Face masks are required to be worn in public and in the workplace.
As of June 28, there have been 31,373 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, with 726 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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