Is It Safe to Travel to the Dominican Republic Right Now?

There is something deeply unnerving, approximately an unexplained loss of life in a holiday venue—a whole lot less a sequence of deaths. (It’s something that Agatha Christie understood well and parlayed into everlasting whodunit fame with Murder at the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, and Ten Little Indians, they all, in a sense, frisson-inducing mash-America of vacation and horror.)

Dominican Republic

So it’s hardly unexpected that reports have surfaced this week of could-be vacationers to the Dominican Republic canceling their plans following the news that seven Americans have died in the popular Caribbean island’s seaside accommodations during the last 12 months. The ultimate three casualties happened inside five days of each other on the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville and the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana, neighboring hotels near the metropolis of San Pedro De Macoris. Two humans died at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana, one in July of 2018, one this past April. A 6th person died in June of 2018 at yet another Bahia Principe motel (there are 14 of those all-inclusive in the Dominican Republic).

All the humans seem to have died in extremely mysterious and seemingly now not unrelated circumstances; there are reports of drinks taken from mini bars before the deaths and coroners’ findings of pulmonary edemas (accumulation of fluid within the lungs) and respiratory failure. (News also surfaced today that Shark Tank megastar Barbara Corcoran’s brother John Corcoran died in the Dominican Republic earlier this yr from a heart assault; however, there is no apparent connection among him and the other Americans who passed away in the u. S. A ..)

But remember this as you debate whether to cancel your plans concerning journey within the Dominican Republic—or as you’re identifying now not to make them within the first region: Travel, despite how it may once in a while seem to the skittish, is inherently safe. Statistically, you are more likely to come to harm near your house than a long way far from it. For instance, a stat I’ve long observed amazing: 70% of all auto injuries take area within a ten-mile radius of where you live.

Also, the Dominican Republic receives greater than 2 million traffic yearly; the seven fatalities in the final 12 months constitute 0.00035 percent—whilst of course, deeply tragic for the households worried, it’s far a statistically negligible range. The U.S. Department of State rates the Dominican Republic with a Level 2 travel advisory; this means that “workout expanded warning.” (There are four such levels.) Other countries that currently have a Level 2 encompass the Bahamas, Brazil, China, France, India, Jamaica, Morocco, Spain, Turks and Caicos, and the United Kingdom (amongst many others few human beings could think about warding off out of fear). Still, if you pick to go to the Dominican Republic inside the near destiny (those off-season fees are outstanding), right here is some fashionable recommendation:

Stay at an international tour logo.

There is a consolation, I find, in booking recognizable, respectable hotels and motels. This is specifically so while staying at massive houses with hundreds of rooms, massive numbers of visitors and workforce, and many centers and food stores. Thus, one can anticipate that a Hilton can have rigorous cleanliness requirements, worker screening and education, and techniques for coping with meals, beverages, and the whole lot else that the consumer is going through.

Buy journey coverage.

Despite first-rate intentions, you may change your thoughts about going if there is more horrific information—what if someone else sickens or dies a subsequent week or next month? Even if you positioned your money down today, you would possibly want it to lower back before your scheduled departure date. Trip coverage, in reality, is usually an amazing concept, whether for geopolitical eventualities or personal ones (contamination or different emergency).

Don’t drink or eat anything pre-packaged that has been opened already.

While the link to the minibar in the Dominican Republic instances is still incredibly anecdotal (stemming in large part from the speculation of spouse and children of the folks that died), it’s continually better to be secure than sorry. And it’s a smooth precaution to take. Seal broken on that little bottle of Beefeater gin? Don’t drink it—document it to the front desk or housekeeping.
In the give up, to-move-or-now not-to-move is going to be your call.

I in no way categorically endorse a person to tour to a place they sense nervous about or try to talk them into a destination. Such decisions need to be private ones. Moreover, each one folk has unique concepts of threat, exceptional degrees of tolerance for threat (or even for uncertainty), and exclusive approaches to dealing with it. All I can say categorically is that even as the “massive horrific global” is indeed big, I strongly agree that it is not often terrible.

Music fan. Travel geek. Zombie trailblazer. Food specialist. Devoted introvert. Hipster-friendly reader.
My current pet project is developing sauerkraut in Minneapolis, MN. Managed a small team working on carnival rides in Nigeria. Spent 2002-2007 testing the market for velcro in Naples, FL. Spent 2001-2005 working on tinker toys in Cuba. Spent several years researching carnival rides in the financial sector. Spent the 80's supervising the production of shaving cream in Deltona, FL.