Dominican Republic Risk Report
Security travel advice for Dominican Republic
Threat level: Low-Medium
The travel safety advice for Dominican Republic is to remain extra cautious in districts of high crime rate or vulnerable locations such as busy tourist areas. There are no general travel advisories for the country, and there is a low likelihood of terrorism.
Recent Security Risk Events
It is advised that anyone travelling to the Dominican Republic remains vigilant as western tourists can be perceived as soft targets in the country due ongoing international terrorist threats at popular tourist regions.
The Dominican Republic’s crime rate is high, this can range from petty crime through to more violent attacks. There has been an increase in the government presence in some areas as a deterrent against tourist directed crime.
Financial fraud scams are prevalent in the country and as such it is best not to avoid using your credit card wherever possible and do not hand your credit card over for payment at any point.
The Dominican Republic has had previous demonstrations around key political times. These demonstrations have been known to turn into localised disarray and violence. It is advised that you keep away from these types of public gatherings.
There is a risk of rape and violent assault against women in the country and as such should preferably not travel alone and take particular care if doing so.
It is advised that both male and female visitor’s to the country do not leave their complex at night and travel to urban locations or central districts due to the increased levels of crime and risk of attacks. The risk of robbery is high and it is advised that jewellery or general expression of wealth is not shown publically.
The Dominican Republic has relatively good international ties, but especially ties with United States of America. It was a founding member of the UN and a member of many treaty and trade agreements, it has close ties with Puerto Rico as well as Venezuela from which it imports its oil.
The road conditions in most major cities are relatively good. There is dangerous behaviour on the roads in regards to traffic weaving resulting in many crashes in the country, this is especially prominent during the holidays when drink driving peaks. Please take into consideration that military and police road blocks are quite common, this is more prominent in the areas near the Haitian border.
The weather is of a tropical climate and as such the sea can be dangerous especially during the tropical storm season. The weather is more prone to adverse conditions during June to the end of November. Hurricanes and heavy rains occur causing flooding and mudslides. Earthquakes in the Dominican Republic are seen and as such present a safety risk.
Time now in Santo Domingo:
British and United States of America Passport holders do not need a travel visa to enter Dominican Republic. Travellers from other countries should seek advice from their nearest embassy, in advance to travel.
It is advised that visitors to Dominican Republic are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. You should ensure that you have been further vaccinated against diseases such as Tetanus, which is usually administered when you are a young baby. You may also want to consider a Hepatitis A vaccination. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.
Other health risks
There have been confirmed cases of the Zika virus, Chikungunya fever and Dengue fever in Dominican Republic and suitable precautions are advised. All three diseases are transmitted to humans by mosquito bites and although there is no vaccine at present, taking precautions against bites can prevent contraction in the first place.
Schistosomiasis (parasitic infection also known as bilharzia) is a low risk, so contact with fresh water including activities such as swimming, bathing or paddling in fresh water lakes and streams could put you at risk.
Personal hygiene must be paramount, the local water supply avoided at all costs and bottled water inspected prior to consumption. There have been a number of cases of bottled water being refilled with tap water and re-sold.
Embassy of the United States of America, Dominican Republic
Av. República de Colombia #57,
St. Michael BB 14006,
Telephone: +809 567 7775
British Embassy Santa Domingo
Edificio Corominas Pepín,
Av. 27 de Febrero 233,
Telephone: +1 809 472 7111
Other useful info
Police, Fire, Ambulance emergency: 911