(Loop News) The Dominican Republic has become the first Caribbean nation to end COVID-19 public health restrictions.
On Thursday, President Luis Abinader made the announcement via a televised message on Wednesday.
All restrictions, including a mask mandate and vaccine checks in public spaces, have been stopped.
“It’s time to recover all our freedoms and way of life,” Abinader said, stressing that everyone has a personal responsibility to ensure they are vaccinated and take relevant precautions.
The government previously required face coverings in public places and proof of vaccination before riding public transportation or showing up at local businesses to work or shop.
The Dominican Republic has hit 70 per cent of its vaccination target and according to the health ministry, new infections have dipped by about 10 per cent over the past four weeks.
Despite the local relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, protocols still apply to some inbound travellers.
A quick, aleatory test will be performed to a percentage of passengers, and all those who present symptoms, upon arrival. Passengers who present a vaccination card or a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in the Dominican Republic will be exempted from the random test.