(QCOSTARICA) While in Costa Rica it was intended to charge travel insurance of almost a thousand dollars to foreign tourists, in the Dominican Republic they offer free insurance.
After a series of criticisms from public opinion, the Costa Rican government relented and allowed other operators in Costa Rica to offer the insurance to visitors, and the INS received the endorsement of the General Insurance Superintendency (Sugese) to charge less for policies for travelers who wish to visit the country.
In addition, the government of Carlos Alvarado allowed the option of foreign visitors purchasing international travel insurance.
However, in the Dominican Republic, President Luis Abinader said that the Dominican Government would provide tourists who come to the country free medical insurance, as part of the measures to relaunch tourism in the coronavirus pandemic face.
“This is a novelty we offer to the entire international tourism sector,” said Abinader.
In an interview with CNN en Español, Abinader said, “To each tourist who comes to the country we are going to provide free medical insurance, so that if he has any contagion and has to be hospitalized … the Government will pay both the medical costs and his transfer to his country of origin.”
Abinader added that “our country is open and has all the conditions for tourists to come without major problems and risk of contagion. The same risks of contagion they have in their country of origin would also exist here.” See the video interview here (in Spanish).
He added that the tourist would have the opportunity to enjoy the warmth of Dominican hospitality and also the beautiful beaches that the country has.
During his speech, the president said that the country had treated COVID-19 “in the appropriate way, in terms of its medical protocol, that we are extending it.” He also indicated that the government is prepared to attend to anyone infected.
The tourism recovery plan, presented last week by Abinader, aims to alleviate the pandemic’s effects in a sector that contributes around 8% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and has been seriously hit by the pandemic.
According to a statement from the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism, as of September 15, medical insurance will be offered to visitors and upon arrival in the country proof of a negative PCR test is no longer required.
Among the Plan measures with the greatest impact to be implemented on September 15, travelers will not be asked for any type of test prior to entering the country, nor will massive tests be carried out upon arrival, but rather random quick tests will be performed and there will be a temporary, free travel assistance plan until December 2020 to all tourists visiting a hotel, that, in addition to emergency coverage, includes COVID-19 tests and cost coverage for long-term stay.
DR’s COVID-19 numbers as at September 3, 2020: 96,629 confirmed cases and 1,801 deaths.
However, not all see the offer that enticing.
William Wallace commented on Dominicantoday.com’s article, “Air Canada offering a similar deal. Airlines and insurance companies always use fine print and pages of policy bullshit to get out of paying.!!!!!! No way I would trust any FREE offer!!! Nice try.”
Paul Tierney commented, “The medical insurance is a great marketing tool to attract tourism. Yet, has the question been asked of the type and limits of the medical coverage and where accepted? If the coverage is accepted only at public medical facilities tourists may hesitate going to them for treatment.”