My Experience Flying and Staying at an All-Inclusive Resort in the Dominican Republic
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I think many of us have been experiencing the travel bug since COVID-19 hit. Between cancelled cruises, vacations, trips to visit family and so much more, COVID-19 has made it very difficult to go anywhere.
This summer, many of the Caribbean Islands opened up with restrictions such as having a negative COVID-19 test before you travel, staying at an approved resort or requiring that you have sufficient medical/travel insurance to cover a 14-day quarantine if needed.
Over Thanksgiving, I decided enough was enough and that I needed to visit the beach again or else I'd go crazy. I looked at all the Caribbean Islands and their COVID-19 requirements and decided to visit the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic no longer requires visitors to obtain a Negative COVID test before visiting. They also are offering a free health coverage plan to travelers until April 2021, for anyone staying in a resort that might require medical attention due to COVID-19.
We flew out of San Francisco International Airport and I've never seen an airport so quiet! Most restaurants and snack places were closed, so I recommend packing snacks when you fly just incase! We were required to wear our masks in the airport, but social distancing was pretty easy as there wasn't many people around.
The first part of our travels involved flying to the Dominican Republic. Unfortunately our airline ( AeroMexico) was not blocking middle seats. Some airlines are still blocking middle seats and I highly recommend flying with them, like Delta. AeroMexico did do a great job at checking everyone in and checking temperatures as well as providing hand sanitizer on the plane. I also always travel with hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes to wipe down my seat and table tray. My Husband works at a few hospitals, so we also chose to wear our N95 masks since we had some at home. Another thing the airline did was board from the back to the front of the plane in zones. This made the boarding process go very quickly. At the end of our flight, they called the rows that could depart and you could only stand and grab your luggage if they called those rows. They started with rows 1-4, and then went from there. I hope the airlines continue some of these boarding processes as it made everything go smoothly!
Once we arrived in the Dominican Republic they checked our temperature at the airport and then we went through Customs. We also had to fill out a declaration form that we had not felt sick and had any COVID-19 symptoms. Once we grabbed our luggage, we found our transfer to the resort and started our journey to the all-inclusive resort. The shuttle driver wore his mask and we did as well.
Once we arrived at the all-inclusive resort, they checked our temperatures at the gate and provided us hand sanitizer. They took our luggage and sanitized them as well. We were then able to check in. Everyone wore their masks at check-in and we were provided hand sanitizer again! Once we were checked in we were able to enjoy the resort.
The resort required masks to be worn inside (when we walked through the lobby) as well as when you were checking into the buffet/restaurants and when you walked into the buffet/restaurant. We also were required to wear our mask when we walked up to the buffet to get our food. Hand Sanitizer was provided at check in at the buffet and restaurant and at the buffet you were not allowed to serve yourself. I thought this was a great idea to limit how many hands were touching the serving utensils.
Social distancing was easy at the pools and at the beach. The chairs were separated in groups of 2,3,4 etc away from others groups by 6 feet. All the staff was required to wear their masks at all times.
I thought the protocols put into place at the airport, on the airplane and at the all-inclusive resort were really great. We felt very safe the entire trip and I can say we did not get COVID-19 while traveling as we've been home for more than 3 weeks now.