Traveling to Punta Cana 2021 in times of coronavirus – What to expect during the period of Covid-19?

 The Dominican Republic is open for tourism and Covid-19 safety protocols in Punta Cana are in effect for all travelers. Hotels are operating in lower occupancy, excursions have implemented hygiene protocols and the airports are measuring the temperatures of all arriving passengers. Those are just a few of the regulations to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in the Dominican Republic and to protect travelers during their vacation in Punta Cana. Furthermore, the government has implemented a tourism recovery plan, which underlines the importance of tourism for the Dominican Republic and proves, that the borders will remain open. There is even free Covid-19 insurance in Punta Cana issued by the Dominican government and some resorts are offering free PCR tests. But how is the situation of Covid-19 in Punta Cana? What has changed? 

 What can you expect when booking your holiday to Punta Cana in times of Coronavirus? This article will highlight some of the aspects of post-Covid-19 travel to the Dominican Republic with first-hand information from Punta Cana.

If you are looking for the best tours and activities you can do during the times of Coronavirus, you can check out the best Covid-19 friendly excursions in Punta Cana.

Completely UPDATED: February 2021
Last Update: April 2021; June 2021

What to expect during your flight in times of Coronavirus?

 When flying to the Dominican Republic during Covid-19, you can expect the safety guidelines most of the airlines have implemented. The main change compared to pre-Covid travel is the mandatory use of face-covering masks during the flight, but also catering has been restricted by most airlines. In-flight magazines have been removed and deep-cleaning protocols after every flight have been implemented – all to secure passenger’s safety and to avoid getting infected with Coronavirus during the flight.

 While all these measures don’t sound too appealing, traveling in the end is much more relaxed than it seems to be. Thanks to the (usually) low number of bookings, you have enough space on the plane. As regulations and guidelines due to Covid-19 are changing frequently, please check with your preferred airline on their measures regarding Coronavirus. 

 Since Covid-19 hit our world, I have already flown a couple of times in and out of Punta Cana. All the flights were super smooth. I often had the whole row on my own. Furthermore, some airlines provided (among them United Airlines and Copa Airlines) an alcohol-soaked wet tissue to additionally disinfect your seat so that you can be extra sure to have a clean environment. 

 The biggest change when booking a flight to Punta Cana (and to all other destinations in the Dominican Republic and the world) compared to times before Coronavirus is a positive one. While airlines usually sold 100% non-refundable tickets with hefty change fees, most of the tickets nowadays – thanks to Covid-19 – are flexible and changeable as the airlines would like to stimulate bookings. This allows you to react to any new situations, it doesn’t matter if they are Covid-19 related or not. However, please note that most airlines only allow 1 change and if you ask for a refund, they usually give you a travel credit for your next trip instead. Make sure to check the current regulations of the airlines (they change frequently as well) to take advantage of flexible cancellation guidelines when booking your flight to the Dominican Republic in times of Covid-19. It is also important to book your flight for your Punta Cana vacation right on the airline website if you’d like to benefit from the flexible booking conditions.

Social distancing is also in effect at the airports

What to expect in the Dominican Republic upon arrival in times of Coronavirus (airport and transfers)?

 Once you are on your way to paradise (the Dominican Republic), you can relax and sit back as you have managed the biggest challenge in these unprecedented times: getting started! Soon you are going to arrive at Punta Cana International Airport, where you pass a temperature screening as part of the entry requirements.

For your 2021 Punta Cana vacation, the entire immigration process for the Dominican Republic can and has to be done online. Just visit the Dominican Republic Immigration Website linked here* and fill out the linked form to receive a so-called e-ticket. The online form is requesting most information you are usually filling out manually when entering a country. In the end, you will receive a QR-Code (= ticket), which you can show to the immigration officer when arriving in the Dominican Republic. Check out this article if you have any problems or questions filling out the Punta Cana e-ticket immigration form.

Starting from April 1st, 2021, online registration is mandatory, paper forms will no longer be accepted. It is advisable to do the registration before starting your Punta Cana vacation. However, you can also obtain the immigration e-ticket at the Punta Cana Airport using the airport WiFi. After having used this immigration e-ticket form a couple of times, I have to say that the process indeed is much easier and quicker than before. Once arriving in Punta Cana, the immigration process is super quick.

 For your Punta Cana vacation, no negative PCR-test is required to enter the Dominican Republic, which makes it easy for you to travel to Punta Cana. However, random Covid-19 tests (fast checks, usually with a breathalyzer) are performed upon arrival at Punta Cana International Airport and all other ports of entry into the Dominican Republic. If you present a negative test or if you are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, you are not subject to any airport testing. If you are not tested nor vaccinated and you get selected for a quick Covid-19 test, don’t worry. Usually, you’ll have the result in 15 minutes and it is absolutely free.


incl. Covid-19 coverage

 Those measures are part of the governmental plan the Dominican Republic has implemented to recover the sector of tourism from the aftermath of Covid-19, which also hit the Caribbean very hard.

 See below for further information on this tourism recovery plan.

 Once you have passed immigration and customs, you can proceed to your prebooked transfer, grab a taxi or start your journey on your own by taking public transport. Please check this comprehensive article on all the transfer options you have at Punta Cana International Airport (or Las Américas International Airport if arriving in Santo Domingo). Alternatively, you can also rent a car, which is a perfect alternative to explore the Dominican Republic the authentic and independent way. 


Save money and time!

Do you need help planning a customized vacation in Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic? Is it difficult for you to decide what and where to book? Would you like to take advantage of someone with years of experience in the tourism industry (knowing all the travel hacks 😉 ) and living right in the place where you would like to spend your holiday?
That’s what my personal travel coaching is for. I will design your tailor-made itinerary, tell you how to save money on your trip and send you the best insider tips and recommendations. All the information I send you are crafted with love and passion – and are coming with a money-back guarantee. Let me know how I can help you (check my packages here) and send me a request here!

The author Chris in the Dominican Republic

 In case you have booked your transfer (get the best prices on your Punta Cana private airport transfer here* or reserve yourself a space in a shared shuttle* if you would like to lower the costs), you will be greeted by your representative. According to the Covid-19 guidelines in Punta Cana, hand sanitizer will be held available to disinfect your hands.

There are no Coronavirus restrictions in Punta Cana regarding which type of transfer you have to use like in other countries. You can choose freely which option you’d like to choose.

 Furthermore, all transfer vehicles are only operating with limited capacity to ensure social distancing in times of Coronavirus.

 As you can see, all of these measures in Punta Cana are complying with the Covid-19 guidelines, but they are not imposing any serious travel restrictions, meaning that you can enjoy your holiday in the Dominican Republic to the fullest.

The arrival hall of the Punta Cana International Airport

What to expect in the all-inclusive resorts during Coronavirus?

 The all-inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic are those “institutions” with the most Covid-19 measures and guidelines in effect, which is particularly due to the many different aspects of the holiday an all-inclusive resort is affecting: food, activities, pool, room, service, drinks … there is hardly anything which hasn’t been put under the new coronavirus hygiene protocol in Punta Cana. This protocol was created by the tourism associations, the government and the industry leaders and guarantees the highest level of Coronavirus protection without imposing too many Covid-19 related restrictions. 

 The most important measures to protect the spread of Coronavirus in the hotels of Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic are:

  • Social distancing at all times
  • Wearing face masks in all public spaces (except restaurants, pools and at the beach)
  • Providing sufficient hand sanitizer
  • Guaranteeing sanitation methods in restaurants and buffets (or not offering buffets at all)
  • Deep-cleaning of rooms
  • New protocols for the interaction between guests and employers
  • Postponing activities where social distancing can’t be guaranteed
  • Implementing a paperless check-in where possible
  • Health protocols for guests and employers
  • Running hotels and all-inclusive resorts with a limited occupancy
  • And many more … 

 If you are interested in the full protocol of Covid-19 guidelines in Punta Cana and beyond, you can download it here*. 

 While these guidelines and Covid-19 restrictions might sound pretty general, I have visited a couple of all-inclusive resorts in the last weeks and months to check how these measures are implemented. While you can read my full reviews of Catalonia Royal Bavaro, Dreams Macao Beach Punta Cana, Grand Sirenis Resort Punta Cana, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana, RIU Palace Punta Cana and Secrets Royal Beach here, the following measures were some which called my immediate attention in terms of the new Covid-19 hygiene protocol in Punta Cana:

  • Upon arrival, your body temperature gets screened, your luggage disinfected and you shall sanitize your hands.
  • Check-in can be done completely paperless in times of Coronavirus.
  • Check-in agents are separated by plexiglass from the guests.
  • All employers are wearing face masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
  • When ordering a drink, the waiters won’t touch your glass (you either grab it from the tray, they pass it to you with a napkin or they are wearing sanitized gloves).
  • At the buffet, you won’t serve yourself, so the food tongs won’t get touched by multiple persons. You rather choose at the buffet what you want to eat and one of the service staff members will put it on your plate. Alternatively, for those resorts where the self-serving method is still in effect, you have to wear disposable gloves to avoid any contamination.
  • Tables get properly disinfected before and after use.
  • According to the Covid-19 hygiene protocol your room gets fully disinfected before your check-in.
  • Multi-touch items such as remote control, tablet or bathroom amenities get disinfected and will be placed in a sealed bag afterwards.
  • Pool and beach chairs are being moved away from each other to maintain social distancing.
  • As an additional Covid-19 measure, dining menus and resort information are available via QR codes only.
  • Frequent hand sanitization is encouraged when entering restaurants, bars, the lobby and other common areas.

 In general, you still can enjoy life while being on vacation in an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana. Especially when you want to relax in your hotel, times might never have been better than now, as everything is super quiet, the properties are not fully booked and party-activities have been postponed as social distancing is in effect. Most hotel occupancies are still pretty low, especially during the week. Just if you are looking for a lot of social interaction, unforgettable beach parties and wild animation, times now are more difficult while Coronavirus is present.

The new Dreams Macao Beach Resort in Macao, Punta Cana - the saltwater pool at the Preferred Club area

As of June 2021, most all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana are open again, probably around 85%. Some of the reopened resorts are Barcelo Bavaro Beach, Be Live Collection Punta Cana, Breathless Punta Cana, Catalonia Royal Bavaro, Dreams Macao Beach, Excellence El Carmen, Grand Sirenis Resort Punta Cana, Hard Rock Punta Cana, Iberostar Grand, Lopesan Costa Bavaro, Majestic Mirage, Melia Caribe Beach, Nickelodeon Punta Cana, RIU Palace Punta Cana, Royalton Punta Cana, Secrets Cap Cana and Secrets Royal Beach.

Some of the resorts still closed (as of June 2021) are CHIC by Royalton, Grand Bahía Principe Turquesa, Natura Park Resort or Le Sivory Port Bleue.

What to expect during your excursions in Punta Cana during times of Coronavirus?

 Excursions are up and running in Punta Cana, even some tour operators have paused their operations for a while, as booking numbers are still very low. Unless other countries after the outbreak of Coronavirus, you are also allowed to venture out on your own in the Dominican Republic. Here on Punta Cana Travel Blog, you find a lot of ideas on how to explore the authentic Dominican Republic. Check out this multi-day itinerary from Punta Cana, have a look at the best day-trips from Punta Cana or check out one of Punta Canas’ waterfalls.
You can also have a look at the best Covid-19 friendly excursions in Punta Cana and check out the best things to do in Punta Cana.

Have you already booked your excursions in Punta Cana? Find the best insider tips and prices here:

 However, also the excursion operators follow a strict hygiene protocol and have implemented strict Covid-19 measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in Punta Cana. Some of those Coronavirus guidelines are:

  • Mandatory face coverings during transfers
  • The guide has to perform a medical check (of his own) before each tour
  • Vehicles have to be deep-cleaned before and after every tour
  • Vehicles can only be occupied with limited capacity
  • Temperature checks for all excursion guests before the tour starts
  • Public toilets have to be available and sanitized every 2 hours
  • Lunch can only be served in disposable plates and cutlery
The best things to do in Punta Cana for an unforgettable vacation

TOP 10 Punta Cana Excursions

Isla Saona: Saona Info | Book it*
Dune buggy and ATV excursion: Buggy Info | Book it*
Punta Cana Ziplining: Zipline Info | Book it*
Party boat & booze cruise: Party Boat Info | Book it*
Scape Park Cap Cana & Blue Lagoon: Blue Lagoon Info | Book it*
Los Haitises National Park: Los Haitises Info | Book it*
Santo Domingo: Santo Domingo Info | Book it*
Samaná (Salto El Limón & Cayo Levantado): Samaná Info | Book it*
Helicopter & airplane tours: Helicopter Info | Book it*
Whale watching (Jan-Mar only): Whale watching Info | Book it*

Looking for more inspiration? Check out the 35 best Punta Cana tours!

 While these Covid-19 restrictions might be quite hard for some excursion tour operators in Punta Cana due to the limited capacity, there are not too many changes for you as a visitor. You can be excited to see the Dominican Republic in all its beauty – probably just with fewer tourists in your tour group, which is an additional plus. However, it has to be said, that not all tour operators are following the guidelines super strictly.

Our excursion to the beautiful Isla Catalina, south of La Romana

Since the pandemic started, I have taken part at a couple of those activities, including buggy tours, ziplining, catamaran tours and many more. It’s absolutely easy and there are hardly any travel restrictions for Punta Cana excursions, so you can look forward to some great adventures and unforgettable fun.

How to get travel insurance with Covid-19 coverage for your Punta Cana holiday?

When you have set everything up for your all-inclusive vacation in the Dominican Republic, it is also time to think about travel insurance – because traveling without would be highly insane amidst a pandemic. Travel insurance for foreign countries always is important as it protects you from the high medical costs in clinics and hospitals when having an accident or getting sick. This is important for Punta Cana as well. Even the general price level in Punta Cana is reasonable, health care is quite expensive, especially when consulting English-speaking doctors or using a hospital with an international standard.

 During the times of Coronavirus, travel insurance is even more important as you still can catch the virus in the Dominican Republic, despite all Covid-19 regulations and measures according to the hygienic protocol. Luckily, there are travel insurances with Covid-19 coverage which fully protects you even if you get the virus during your holiday.

 I am protected with Safety Wing*, an easy and straight-forward international insurance covering me in all countries in the world (except Iran, North Korea, Cuba), including the Dominican Republic. Safety Wing also covers any medical treatment of Covid-19 as long as you have not contracted the Coronavirus before your insurance policy started. In other words, if you travel to Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic and get sick during your holiday, Safety Wing covers you (please read their user-friendly terms & conditions for any exclusions*) – it doesn’t matter if it is Covid-19 related or any other health issue. Even Covid-19 tests for Coronavirus are included if medically necessary.

 While Safety Wing initially was a digital nomad company offering long-term health insurance, you can also take out their insurance for short vacations of just a couple of days. Please note that they have a deductible of 250 USD for most medical cases and liability is capped at a certain (reasonable) amount, but this comes with the big advantage that their insurance policies start for as low as 1.20 USD a day (!). Health and travel insurance for a 1-week trip to the Dominican Republic incl. Covid-19 coverage only costs you 12 USD for the entire week and a month is just 40 USD. This even includes travel insurance, so in case of flight disruptions, natural disasters, travel delay or lost checked luggage, you are covered as well – without deductible! Safety Wing covers nationals from all over the world, including US and European citizens.

 SafetyWing is probably not recommendable for every type of traveler, but the low prices and strong coverage are absolutely worth a look, taking into consideration that it is health, travel AND Covid-19 insurance in one package. I can recommend it from my experience, so have a look at the services and prices!

 If Safety Wing is nothing for you, you can have a look at Visitors Coverage. Visitors Coverage is a price comparison tool* for international travel and medical insurances, doesn’t matter where you are from or where you are traveling to. More or less half of the insurance offers at Visitors Coverage include Covid-19 coverage when traveling, so make sure to activate this filter when browsing through the results. Prices are super low as well (10 USD for a 1-week trip to Punta Cana) and the deductible is as low as 50 USD, which is important if you don’t want to pay much in case of medical treatment. Visitors Coverage offers different insurance companies and packages, some of them for travel insurance (travel delay, trip cancellation, etc.) and some of them for health insurance (medical treatment, hospitalization, etc.). You can use the tool below to check the best prices and services for your trip.

Free health insurance provided by the government of the Dominican Republic

A further option is to rely on the free health insurance the Dominican Republic government is giving to all travelers. Free insurance? Yes, FREE!

As an incentive to further strengthen the recovery of tourism, the government of the Dominican Republic has announced back in October 2020 to issue free insurance to all travelers entering the country on commercial flights to cover medical expenses, incl. Covid-19. This is not only Covid-19 insurance as it covers all medical treatment during your stay as long as it is not due to pre-existing conditions. The free health insurance of the Dominican government covers costs up to 10.000 USD (compared to 250.000 USD with SafetyWing*). It not only covers medical expenses incl those due to Covid-19 but also postponing your flights and/or extended hotel accommodation in case you require treatment and can’t make your flight.

In detail, the free health and Covid-19 insurance for travelers to Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic covers the following aspects:

  • Total insurance coverage: 10.000 USD
  • Non-pre-existing medical emergency assistance incl. COVID-19 incl. attention by specialists: 10.000 USD
  • Medical transfers: up to 500 USD
  • Health repatriation: up to 2.000 USD
    Air ticket for a relative if necessary
  • Fare difference or change fee for a return flight in case of a medical emergency
  • Repatriation or funeral transfers
  • Legal Assistance and Judicial Bond in case of an accident
  • Limitations and special exclusions by age: up to 85 years
  • Hotel expenses for a forced extended stay due to hospitalization: up to 75 USD per night
  • Valid in the entire Dominican Republic
  • Valid from hotel check-in to check-out

You can find the full insurance policy here*.
No responsibility is taken for the correctness of this information. Punta Cana Travel Blog can’t be held responsible for any changes or incorrect information. All details of the insurances are subject to change without prior notice.

So far, the insurance from the Dominican government for your Punta Cana vacation during Covid-19 seems to work fine. I have heard a few reports that it works, however, there isn’t a large base of experiences yet. Therefore, you have to decide on your own if government-issued insurance with a coverage of 10.000 USD is enough for you or if you prefer to have higher coverage with an experienced insurance provider.

The free Covid-19 health insurance from the Dominican government is currently valid for all arrivals until July 30th, 2021. It might be extended afterwards depending on how the Covid-19 situation in the Dominican Republic is evolving.

How is the beach in Punta Cana during Covid-19?

 While the beach itself isn’t directly affected by any Covid-19 restrictions in the Dominican Republic, it is very interesting to see how the beach has changed in recent months, since Coronavirus hit our world and stopped all travel immediately.

 While most of the beautiful beaches in Punta Cana were highly frequented before Covid-19, with all the all-inclusive resorts open, many people walking along the beach and beach bars frequented with happy travelers, everything is (obviously) super quite now. While this is not particularly worth mentioning, it is impressive to see how pristine and virgin the beach turned in these few months without visitors. If you ever wanted to see how the beach of Punta Cana looked 30-40 years ago before mass tourism started in the area, you have a chance to get this picture now. Natural flotsam is piling up at the beach, palm trees are swaying in the wind without any people around for miles and some fishing boats seem to not have moved for ages. It is a totally different atmosphere, especially when you leave your accommodation and walk along the beach passing some of the other all-inclusive resorts of Punta Cana which are still closed.

 Apart from that, you can enjoy the marvelous beaches of Punta Cana as much as you want, especially with fewer tourists than normal. If you’d like to know more about the best beaches in Punta Cana, check out this article.

The pristine beach of Bavaro in Punta Cana during times of Coronavirus and Covid-19

Hospital situation in Punta Cana in times of Coronavirus

 When traveling in times of Coronavirus, it is also important to check the available hospitals and medical infrastructure in your holiday destination, just in case you – despite all the measures – get infected or have any other accident. Luckily, Punta Cana has a particularly good supply of international hospitals, private clinics and English-speaking doctors, so that you don’t have to worry about medical treatment, as long as you are properly insured. Also, thanks to the low population density of the area, emergency beds and ventilators were (and are) always available even during peak times of Covid-19 in Punta Cana and it is not expected that this is going to change in the future. As of March 2021, the occupancy of emergency beds and ventilators in the Dominican Republic is just around 30%. Right now, in June 2021, the hospitals and ventilators are occupied by 60%. Taking into consideration the ongoing vaccination campaign with already more than 40% of the Dominicans being vaccinated at least once, it is expected that the hospital occupancy shall decrease soon – even Covid-19 in Punta Cana always will be around.

 There are several clinics and hospitals in Punta Cana. All of them have English-speaking staff and accept different kinds of insurances. In case you need to see a doctor, it doesn’t matter if it’s Covid-19 related or for another reason, make sure to call before to check if the hospital does offer the treatment you are looking for.

 The biggest clinics and hospital in Punta Cana are the following:

  • International Medical Group Punta Cana (IMG Punta Cana)
  • Centro Médico Punta Cana
  • International Medical Center TCMS
  • Hospiten Bavaro

 The biggest and most modern hospital in Punta Cana is the IMG Punta Cana from the International Medical Group. You can find all kinds of clinics and departments here, with (partly) bi-lingual doctors, the latest technology and the cleanest environment. Without having tried all the hospitals, I would say that the International Medical Group has the best hospital in Punta Cana. 

Coronavirus in Punta Cana - the situation in times of Covid-19 in the Dominican Republic

How to get a Covid test in Punta Cana (PCR test/Antigen)?

 It is also not a problem to get a PCR test in Punta Cana if you would like to get checked for Covid-19. Even when most countries are requesting a negative Covid test to return to your home country, there are sufficient testing capacities, also thanks to the Dominican government and tourism recovery plan. But how to get a Covid-19 test in Punta Cama. it doesn’t matter if an Antigen test or a PCR test?

First of all, it depends where you are staying: do you travel to Punta Cana to stay in an all-inclusive resort or do you want to spend your vacation in an Airbnb (check out this list, there are so many spectacular Airbnb in Punta Cana)?

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If you are staying in an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana, you should check with your travel agent or your concierge if the hotel is offering free Covid tests during your stay. Most all-inclusive resorts do offer Covid-testing right at the premises and thanks to the free health coverage plan, Antigen tests are for free for American tourists staying in a hotel. Just a small administration fee has to be paid, even some hotels are absorbing this fee, offering Covid-19 tests completely for free. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about getting your Covid test on time before returning to your country. PCR tests usually have to be paid extra.

If you are staying at an Airbnb in Punta Cana or a guesthouse, you don’t have to worry either as there are plenty of testing facilities in Punta Cana. Even you are not entitled to a free test, you simply can book an appointment (usually online) and get your Antigen or PCR-test done. For Antigen tests you even don’t need an appointment in most places.

The most recommendable testing facilities are the following:

Amadita LaboratorioCentró Medico Punta CanaHospiten BavaroIMG Punta CanaLaboratorio Referencia
Type of test1) Antigen test
2) PCR test
3) Respiratory SARS COV 2
1) Antigen test
2) PCR test
3) Express PCR test
1) Antigen test
2) Express PCR test
1) Antigen test
2) PCR test
3) Express PCR test
1) Antigen test
2) PCR test
3) Express PCR test
Results in1) 2-4 hours
2) 48-72 hours
3) 4-8 hours
1) 2-4 hours
2) 48 hours
3) 24 hours
1) 20 minutes
2) 24 hours
1) 1-2 hours
2) 48 hours
3) 24 hours
1) 3 hours
2) 48 hours
3) 24 hours
Price1) 2000 DOP
2) 4300 DOP
3) 12500 DOP
1) 2000 DOP
2) 4300 DOP
3) 5000 DOP
1) 35 USD
2) 125 USD
1) 1900 DOP
2) 5300 DOP
3) on request
1) 1750 DOP
2) 4300 DOP
3) 5000 DOP
+1(809) 682-5414+ 1 (809) -552-1506+1 (809) 686-1414+1 (809) 686 1414+1(809)221-5545
Test at hotelyes, at some hotelsyes, at some hotelsyes, at some hotelson requeston request
NotesAmadita App available as well

No responsibility is taken for the correctness of this information. Punta Cana Travel Blog can’t be held responsible for any changes or incorrect information. All details of the insurances are subject to change without prior notice.

So far, I have used the Covid-19 testing facilities of IMG Punta Cana and Centro Medico Punta Cana and am absolutely satisfied with it. The results are ready in usually 15 to 30 minutes.

In case you don’t get tested before your flight, you simply forget it or if your test result arrives too late, there are also testing facilities at Punta Cana Airport and Santo Domingo Airport. However, this shall only be considered as an emergency solution, it is much less hassle to get tested before. If you have to get tested right at the airport, plan between 2 and 4 additional hours for it. Those testing facilities at the airport are only open during daytime hours.

Situation and regulations regarding Covid-19 in the Dominican Republic

 While all the above is regarding tourism, the safety guidelines during your Punta Cana holiday and any Coronavirus restrictions imposed on certain activities, it is also important to look left and right at what’s happening in the Dominican Republic in terms of Covid-19. 

 While Latin America, in general, has a harder time preventing the spread of Covid-19 due to big families, limited housing space and a large informal economy, the Dominican Republic is doing ok so far compared to other Latin American countries. Images from dead people on the street, people queuing up with their gas bottles to buy oxygen for their infected loved ones or week-long 24-hour lockdowns, fortunately, have spared the Dominican Republic. The number of new Coronavirus cases is also on a moderate level for months now (except a spike around December/January which the country, fortunately, has been able to stop again) which consolidates hope that the country is on a good way to the new normal.

Furthermore, the Dominican Republic is one of the countries with very stable measures to protect the spread of Coronavirus. While other governments are jumping forth and back with their travel restrictions, the Dominican government is keeping its path to fight Covid-19 in Punta Cana and the entire country.

For your Dominican Republic vacation

Travel resources

Punta Cana Airport Transfers: Info | Book It*
Santo Domingo Airport Transfers: Info | Book It*
All-Inclusive Resorts: Info | Book It*
Guesthouses & AirBnBs: Info | Book It*
Excursions: Info | Book It*
Rental Car: Info | Book It*
Road-Trips & Self-Drive Tours: Info | Plan It
Travel Insurance (incl. covid-19 coverage): Book it*

 Despite the way of opening up for tourism, there are still some restrictions in effect due to Covid-19. One of them is the daily curfew between 10 pm and 5 am (weekends starting from 9 pm) to prevent big parties and big agglomerations at night when the Dominicans love to mingle and drink their ice-cold Presidente beer. While it sounds weird to plan a holiday in a country where a curfew is in effect, it won’t affect you too much, especially as there is a 2-3-hour grace period, which means you only have to be home at midnight on weekdays and on 10pm on weekends.

Currently (as of June 2021), there are different curfew hours in a couple of Provinces, especially in Santo Domingo with a stricter curfew. However, the regions in Punta Cana, Bayahibe, Samaná, Puerto Plata, Cabarete, Las Terrenas and Santiago are not affected and are continuing with the midnight curfew.

If you stay in an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana, you won’t notice anything from the curfew and even if you travel around on your own by rental car, you should usually reach your hotel before dark, even if there is no curfew. I have done a couple of road-trips through the country with the curfew in effect and while it sometimes needs some adjustments on the travel plans, you won’t be restricted too much, as you still can enjoy all the beauties and hidden gems of the Dominican Republic.

While a few attractions still might be closed due to the lack of visitors or the possibility to ensure social distancing, the majority of all tours and activities in Punta Cana is open and running. Check out this article about the best excursions in Punta Cana during Covid-19 to find out more.

 A further Covid-19 measure in Punta Cana is the mandatory use of face coverings in all public spaces, including public transport. This regulation is valid until further notice 

 Besides this, some tourist attractions are still closed, especially those where it is difficult to implement hygiene protocols or social distancing. Usually, this only applies to indoor attractions in the Dominican Republic. While this might change daily, it’s best to inquire directly with any attraction you are interested in visiting when traveling to the Dominican Republic. Most excursions from Punta Cana are not affected by these temporary closures, but a face covering is still mandatory.

A travel kit during times of Coronavirus and Covid-19

Governmental program in the Dominican Republic in the response of Covid-19 

 As tourism is an important industry in the Dominican Republic, the government has declared its recovery after the worldwide Coronavirus lockdown as one of the main targets when restarting the economy. To achieve this, the new ruling party – just governing since July 2020 – has implemented a plan which includes several measures to help both, travelers and suppliers. 

 One of the most important measures is that all travelers to Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic are protected by a Covid-19 health insurance issued by the Dominican government, as explained above. In case you get infected with the Coronavirus, the government will cover for treatment as well as for necessary itinerary and flight changes, if applicable.

Furthermore, labor regulations and a sanitary bubble for the employers will be implemented to make sure that all hotel and excursion staff will have the least risk possible to be infected and to infect other travelers. Last but not least, entry requirements in the Dominican Republic do not enforce bringing a (negative) PCR test, but you might get tested randomly when arriving into the Dominican Republic.

 Further entry restrictions are not in effect, all countries can enter the Dominican Republic, however, visa regulations might apply.

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 With all these guidelines and regulations, the Dominican Republic is open for everyone and ready to receive you. Are you ready for your vacation in the Caribbean? If so, check out the articles about the best day-trips in Punta Cana, 26 exciting things to do in Bavaro and beyond and don’t forget to visit some of the highlights of the Dominican Republic, such as Isla Saona, Santo Domingo and Los Haitises. You can also have a look at the best excursions in Punta Cana to do during the times of Coronavirus.

Frequently Asked questions (FAQ) about Covid-19 in Punta Cana


The face behind Punta Cana Travel Blog: Chris


Author, Travel Coach & Punta Cana based digital nomad

Hey, I am Chris, a born and raised German, travel-addictive and Caribbean Soul. Since 2011 I have been living in the Caribbean, among them 5 years in the Dominican Republic. Punta Cana is my home-base here in the country and I’d love to tell you more about how to experience Punta Cana off-the-beaten-track and give you all the advice you want to know for your vacation in Punta Cana.

35 thoughts on “Traveling to Punta Cana 2021 in times of coronavirus – What to expect during the period of Covid-19?”

  1. I booked an all inclusive vacation for middle of February 2021 in Punta Cana

    Do you know if they still offer evening entertainments and if not what people do in the evening? Thank you

    1. Hi Olga,

      yes, evening shows are still on the program of the all-inclusive resorts. If the occupancy is very low, they might not have one every night, but as there is still time to go until February and numbers are picking up slowly but steady, there shall be an entertainment show every night.

      Enjoy Punta Cana!

  2. We are coming in Feb and need a Covid test to return to NY.. Can we get a Covid test for our return trip right at the Resort?

    1. Hi Jody,
      yes, Amadita Laboratorio and Laboratorio Referencia are offering resort visits for Covid-19 PCR tests. I’ll propose to call, but if you don’t speak Spanish, you can also write an email ahead of time and/or use their websites.
      You can also ask in your resort, but it will most likely be more expensive as they don’t have own testing facilities. Most likely they just send the tests to one of the labs mentioned above.
      Have a safe trip to Punta Cana

  3. Traveling in February. Want to go out of resort for evening dinner. But have read that there is a curfew? Is this correct? What is the guidelines?
    This is what I found. I have transportation leaving Riu to go to Jellyfish restaurant at 7. So looking at this I should not go?

    Is a curfew in place? Yes
    Beginning January 27, the government of the Dominican Republic has issued a revised curfew nationwide. Failure to follow the curfew, including for U.S. citizens, may result in arrest and/or fines.
    Monday through Friday: Curfew from 7pm to 5am, with a grace period for transit until 10pm each day.
    Saturday and Sunday: Curfew from 5pm to 5am, with a grace period for transit until 8pm each day.

    1. Hi Jody,

      you are right, there is a curfew in place and all businesses have to close at 7pm (5pm weekends), but you can be on the road until 10pm (8pm weekends).
      Therefore, if you’d like to go to Jellyfish Beach, I highly recommend going there for lunch.

      The curfew doesn’t affect the resorts in Punta Cana, so restaurants and bars there will be open (might be on a rotating schedule).

      Let me know if you have any further questions.
      Enjoy your vacation in Punta Cana!

  4. Scheduled to travel Feb 27, 2021 and realized passports will only be valid for 5 months past travel dates (exp July 21, 2021). Will this be a problem?

    1. Hi Michele,

      thanks for your comment. I am happy that you are planning to travel to Punta Cana.
      Officially, passports need to be valid 6 months after arrival, so yes there might be problems.
      If you want to be on the safe side and there is a chance to get a new (express?) passport in this short amount of time, better choose this option.
      If this is not an option, you probably only have the chance to either cancel or try your luck.
      What I would do to increase your chances:
      – call your airline to ask about the passport validity they require to let you board when flying to the Dominican Republic
      – fill out the immigration e-ticket for entering the Dominican Republic. If you get the QR-Code at the end, you are already one step further from gaining entry into the Dominican Republic.
      However, the final decision will be taken by the immigration officer. But if your airline lets you board and you have the immigration QR-Code, chances should be higher.

      Please note that this is just my personal opinion. Please call your embassy for any legal advice.

      Cheers from Punta Cana

    1. Hi Joanne,

      If you get tested positive at the airport, it is most likely that you get transferred to the next quarantine establishment, which might be a hospital or any other governmental facility.
      Each resort also has a quarantine section, so if you don’t show any symptoms you might also be lucky and get quarantined in your resort, but I assume they send you first to a health care facility to quarantine, monitor and test you again there.

      Cheers, Chris

  5. Hi Chris,

    Was just wondering what your views are on the resorts facilities by June. Do you think things like Pools, Clubs and Bars will be open again?

    Many thanks,

  6. Hi Chris,
    I am so happy that you have a site that I can read what is really to expect when I arrive on April 1st, 2021. I was super nervous, but after reading all your positive notes on Punta Cana I am more relived now. Thank you so much. I am looking so much forward in coming soon.


    1. Hi Kao,

      great, thanks for your feedback. I am glad that my experiences can help you. 🙂

      Enjoy your trip to Punta Cana and make sure to check back if you have any further questions or when thinking about the things you want to do in Punta Cana.


    1. Hi Tami,

      no, no vaccines are required to enter the Dominican Republic. However, it is recommended to have your routine vaccines done.
      Hepatitis A, B, Typhoid and Rabies are recommended travel vaccines, especially when you have higher exposure (your exposure usually is very low if you are staying in an all-inclusive resort). Cholera is not an issue in the Dominican Republic.
      Please also check the recommendations from your local center for disease control.

      For professional advice, please consult a doctor specialized in travel vaccines.

      Cheers from Punta Cana

  7. Hi Chris,

    I will be traveling with my husband and 2 kids to Punta Cana the end of April. I am a little nervous with the virus stuff regarding getting back home to US. My concern is should 1 of of test positive do we have to stay for 14 days or till we a negative result? I am so looking forward to a vacation but I don’t want to be stuck there.


    1. Hi Maria,

      thanks for your comment.

      If getting quarantined when receiving a positive test result is a scenario you would like to avoid at all costs during your Punta Cana vacation, it might be better not to travel to the Dominican Republic.
      Just keep in mind a few things:
      – some resorts offer a free quarantine on the resort grounds (obvious in a different building and with no access to the public resort facilities)
      – there is medical insurance from the Dominican Republic government which is included in all travel packages
      – if 1 person gets tested positive, it is likely that other family members have the virus as well
      – usually the quarantine should last until all are tested negative

      Please let me know if you have any further questions.

      Cheers from Punta Cana

  8. We are thinking of a vacation in late September but we have heard that the beaches are closed in September and October is this true?
    Also wondering what the temperature is like at that time of year?


    1. Hi Tracy,

      great that your are planning to visit Punta Cana.
      The beaches in Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic are open 365 days a year.

      You can have a look at the best beaches here:

      With regard to the weather, you can find the weather situation for each month in Punta Cana here:

      Let me know if you have any further questions.

      Best regards

  9. Hi there, I’m thinking about staying at an all-inclusive resort for a week at the end of May as a solo female traveler. Do you think this is safe? Kind regards, Vera

    1. Hi Vera,

      thanks for your comment. Yes, Punta Cana is very safe, with regard to Covid-19 and with regard to crime as well. You won’t have any problem traveling as a solo female traveler.
      If you are looking for a resort, you can check out the following post to find out which might be the most suitable hotel for you:

      Cheers from Punta Cana

  10. This post has a lot of great information! Are resorts offering day passes again? I am traveling in July 2021 but staying in an Airbnb and want to visit a resort for a day. Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi EA,

      I am glad the information were helpful.

      The last time I have enquired for a day pass was in April and I couldn’t get one.

      However, each all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana is handling this differently, so I would call the resort you’d like to visit and see if there is a chance.

      Cheers from Punta Cana

  11. Hello Chris, thanks for creating this travel blog with great authentic information. I found much lower airfare for Santo Domingo ($1500 lower for 4 passengers, 2 adults & 2 kids) than Punta Cana airport. It is 2 hours transfer from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana at an AI resort for my travel dates round trip, that means the private transfer will pick us up and drop us off to Santo Domingo Airport on both dates (at a cost of $245). However, plane would arrive Santo Domingo at 2 AM (in morning). Question 1: Is it ok and safe to book private transfer online?, Question 2: Is it ok & safe to use private transfer at 2 AM in the morning to travel to Punta Cana AI resort?, Question 3: Is night time Curfew still in effect and is it going to affect the transfer? If so, what other alternatives I have? Thanks.

    1. Hi Humorous,

      thanks for your comment.

      Yes, flying to Santo Domingo definitely is an option if it is that much cheaper. Just keep in mind that the kids might be not that pleased to do so much night-time traveling, especially when an additional 2-hour transfer is involved.

      To answer your questions:
      Yes, going with a private transfer from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana during nighttime hours is safe if you book with a reliable company (not any kind of private service). It is just not recommended to drive at night on your own, but that’s not the case here. You can check my recently updated post about airport transfers from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana here:

      The curfew won’t affect your transfer as airport transfers are allowed 24/7.

      You might arrive at 5 to 6am at your resort.
      Depending on your budget, you shall consider booking your room already for the night before so that you have access to your room immediately when you arrive and can take a nap there – I guess everyone will be super tired after this trip.

      Enjoy your trip to Punta Cana and let me know if you have any further questions.

  12. Was planning a trip for August 15th, but we’re worried that the curfew will affect the bars/clubs in the resort. Does the curfew affect the stuff in the resort? Would we have to be in our rooms when the curfew begins?

  13. Michael Sergent

    Hi Chris,

    Will be arriving in August…is there still a curfew for night club such as drink point, coco bongo and casino?…if so has anything been communicated when they will be lifted?

    1. Hi Michael,

      right now, businesses have to close at 22:00 on weekdays and 21:00 on weekends and I guess this will be the case in August as well.
      Alcohol consumption is a bit limited at the moment in public bars, but I strongly assume that this will be lifted in the next 1-2 weeks.

      Cheers from Punta Cana

  14. Hello I’m am leaving in a week to melia beach and I’m a bit nervous and concerned for health and safety not cause of the covid but the strange deaths that had occurred some time ago what is the difference now and then how has it improved and should I be worried they said it was something about drinks being spiked I am traveling in a big group and my daughter too is the food safe ? How should I drink water? Did they ever catch the criminals that were doing this how did the government put a stop to this or can this still be happening

    1. Hi Adrian,
      thanks for your comment. There is nothing to worry about, there was no tainted alcohol and no poisoned food in Punta Cana. It was just a fake news campaign against the government of the Dominican Republic …
      Even the FBI investigated and confirmed that all Americans who died in Punta Cana died because of natural reasons. And if you look at the statistics you can see that this specific year when the fake news campaign was running LESS Americans died in the Dominican Republic than in other years. Obviously, with more approx. 2-3 million American tourists every year it is (unfortunately … ) absolutely natural that people are dying during their vacation because of natural reasons …
      Let me know if you have any other questions.
      Cheers from Punta Cana

    1. Hi Andrew,
      there have never been any alcohol restrictions in place within the all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana.
      For public bars, afaik they are allowed to sell alcohol until midnight but I am not sure if this is really enforced as most bars are open (and I am hardly out for nightlife to see what’s up after mid-night 😉 ).
      Cheers from Punta Cana

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