Tourism January 18, 2021 | 4:45 pm

Tourism manages PCR tests for Canadian travelers stranded in the DR

The PCR tests required for some 240 Canadian tourists to board a plane back to their country were managed by their tour operators, in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism ( Mitur ), managing to take a flight back last Saturday.

Andrés Marranzini, Executive Vice President of the Association of Hotels and Tourism of the Dominican Republic ( Asonahores ), explained that some of those passengers were independent travelers who went to have a laboratory test that was not PCR, so the airline rejected. Others traveling with tour operators would not receive the results within the 72 hours required by the Canadian government, from January 7.

Stranded tourists would board flights from the Punta Cana Airport, the Gregorio Luperón Airport in Puerto Plata, and the Samaná – El Catey International Airport, which directly trips to Canada. In the case of Puerto Plata, there is only one laboratory that performs PCR tests.

It is expected that this Monday, 16 people in the same situation will be able to return home: five who came with packages from tour operators and 11 independent travelers.

Marranzini explained that the Canadian Embassy has been supporting those efforts.

The United States joined the countries that will request analysis to enter their territory as of January 26; these may be PCR or antigens.

Last Sunday, passengers boarded their flights without significant problems, mainly to the United States and Puerto Rico from the Americas’ International Airport ( AILA ). According to Diario Libre, several of them heading to Puerto Rico said the test had not been required.

Some Latin American countries that request COVID-19 tests are Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Jamaica, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Brazil, and Colombia.

For its part, Cuba limited the number of flights allowed from the Dominican Republic, the United States, Panama, Mexico, the Bahamas, and Haiti.

The maximum time that the test can be accepted before arrival ranges from 24 hours to 10 days. Some nations only ask high-risk patients for tests, and others offer the alternative of a 14-day quarantine after arrival for those who do not have the results.

In that sense, David Collado, Minister of Tourism, reported in a tweet that this Monday, they will announce a joint plan with the Ministry of Public Health and companies in the tourism sector to respond to the demand for tests that the United States will implement.