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Health and Safety

Health & Safety in the Dominican Republic

COVID-19 & ILAC Programs

We are fortunate to have a strong partnership with the ILAC/CESI Center in Santiago and are in regular communication with the leadership team of CESI regarding COVID-19 in the Dominican Republic. We are constantly monitoring the CDC, WHO, and other local Dominican sources to help us make informed decisions about Creighton-ILAC programming. Pre-approved Creighton-ILAC programming in the Dominican Republic resumed starting in February 2021 with increased precautions for health and safety. Please use the links below for the most updated information.

The FAQ information below was last updated on January 5, 2022.

Yes! Creighton University-sponsored programs returned to the Dominican Republic beginning in February 2021. Creighton-ILAC staff and partners at ILAC/CESI in the Dominican Republic have been working closely to prepare a healthy and welcoming environment for Creighton travelers with many COVID-19 precautions in place.

Please carefully review the ILAC COVID-19 preparedness playbook here

Programs must be pre-approved by the Global Engagement Office (GEO) and the Creighton-ILAC office. All participants must strictly follow pre-departure and in-country requirements as outlined in the ILAC COVID-19 Preparedness Playbook. Please contact Jill Muegge, ILAC Director - Omaha with any questions.

To date, Creighton-ILAC has welcomed back groups of healthcare rotation students, undergraduate students, and high school students safely and successfully.

Creighton-ILAC programs are moving forward with program planning in consultation with the CDC, WHO, and Dominican partners at ILAC/CESI. Creighton-ILAC staff will continue to prepare students for their programs abroad, but it is important that YOU, as the future traveler, pay close attention and remain aware of current and potential changes in your future host country.

The introduction of the Omicron variant adds another level of ambiguity as countries and institutions learn about and react to this variant. Some countries are imposing new travel restrictions and these changes will likely continue into the coming weeks. The Dominican Republic does not have any travel restrictions at this time. Although the Global Engagement Office and the Creighton-ILAC staff will continue to monitor and share updates as they become available, it is your responsibility as a future traveler pay close attention and to stay aware of current and potential changes in your future host country.

The COVID-19 vaccine is required for all Creighton University students, as per Creighton University policy.

As guidance around booster requirements abroad is evolving, we strongly encourage all students who will be participating in a program abroad to prioritize getting a COVID-19 vaccine booster prior to departure if it has been more than six months since your single dose of Johnson and Johnson vaccine or your second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. You should not rely on being able to get booster shots abroad.

The CDC has updated their guidelines and advice for individuals in the U.S. who are fully vaccinated. This is great news, but there are still additional precautions you need to take before/during travel and while in the Dominican Republic.

  • Masks are required in the Dominican Republic and the mask mandate is in place country-wide. You must bring masks with you for your entire stay; Creighton-ILAC does not provide these for you.
  • Creighton-ILAC requires that you obtain a negative COVID-19 test within 3 days before travel to the DR. This may be a rapid test, it does not need to be PCR. This is currently not a requirement through the Dominican Republic, but it is a way to show our partners that we are being respectful travelers and entering into their country, communities, and homes in as safe a way as possible.
  • Bring your COVID-19 vaccine card with you when you travel. Keep it as safe as you keep your passport! You will asked to show proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, service sites, and other establishments.

Returning to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic

The CDC requires that all travelers returning from international locations obtain a COIVD-19 test one day before their flight back to the U.S., and not to travel if testing positive or experiencing symptoms. Travelers are required to provide proof of the negative result to the airline before boarding the flight. The Creighton-ILAC team will arrange these tests for the group, so you do not have to worry about how/when to get the test while in the DR.

Carefully read the CDC guidance here.

Remember, this experience is a two-way street and while we are thrilled to have travelers who are fully vaccinated, we must continue to be responsible and respectful travelers when entering into another country.

Yes. Due to the ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are two pieces of additional paperwork that we require from each traveler.

  1. ILAC/CESI COVID-19 Community Standards Document
  2. International Travel Waiver – Required for ALL travelers and must be signed and legally notarized

All students, faculty, staff, leaders, and chaperones traveling to the Dominican Republic through Creighton-ILAC must complete these requirements in addition to the usual program paperwork. These items will be provided to participants by the Creighton-ILAC team and MUST be received prior to travel.

Program participants, leaders, and visitors should bring the following items with them:

  • Reusable/washable masks/face coverings (enough for entire stay)
  • Personal hand sanitizer(s)
  • Personal medical thermometer
  • Bring your COVID-19 vaccine card with you. Keep it as safe as you keep your passport! You will asked to show proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, service sites, and other establishments.

Creighton-ILAC is working closely with our partners at the ILAC/CESI Center to adjust accommodations, meals, and programming for added health and safety precautions. Together we have formalized an ILAC COVID-19 Preparedness Playbook that is shared here. This playbook addresses the topics listed below:

  • COVID-19 context in the Dominican Republic
  • ILAC/CESI Center Community Standards
  • Self-monitoring and symptom reporting at the ILAC/CESI Center
  • Quarantine and isolation at the ILAC/CESI Center
  • Hospital medical care and testing locations
  • Protective supplies and ILAC/CESI Center cleaning protocol
  • Social distancing at the ILAC/CESI Center
  • Steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19
  • Transportation and activities outside of the ILAC/CESI Center

Please carefully review the ILAC COVID-19 preparedness playbook here

The current global pandemic is an ongoing, constantly evolving situation which requires continuous review. As such, decisions will be made on a program-by-program basis. GEO and Creighton-ILAC will continue to monitor COVID-19 in the Dominican Republic in accordance with recommendations from the CDC, the WHO, and local government and will communicate any changes as needed. As of now, all pre-approved programs are scheduled to run as planned with increased health and safety protocols in place.

The insurance provided by CISI insurance covers emergency medical costs during your time abroad. Read the policy details. All travelers should maintain primary health insurance coverage while abroad. The insurance policy offered by the GEO is a supplemental policy.

View CISI COVID-19 FAQs here

For participants purchasing their own flight (not purchased through the Creighton-ILAC office), the Global Engagement Office (GEO) recommends waiting to book any nonrefundable flights until it is absolutely necessary to do so. Due to the unpredictable nature of international travel at this time, we encourage students to purchase a refundable/changeable airline ticket and/or additional travel or trip cancellation insurance from the airline or another company. The required insurance through CISI does not cover flight change costs due to a pandemic. Creighton cannot refund any part of a flight.

CISI Insurance - Emergency Medical / Liability

All Creighton-ILAC student participants, faculty, and staff traveling to ILAC are required to enroll in international emergency medical insurance administered by the Global Engagement Office (GEO) for the duration of their time away from the United States. This coverage is through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI). The Creighton-ILAC office will assist you in this process.

All non-Creighton participants, high school participants and chaperones, medical surgery teams, research program participants, are required to provide proof of international emergency medical/liability insurance before travel to ILAC and are strongly encouraged to purchase this coverage plan through Creighton-ILAC. Contact ilac@creighton.edu for details.

The insurance policy selected by Creighton University for its students traveling abroad includes basic trip insurance that may cover a portion of additional costs due to trip cancellation, extreme flight delays, loss of luggage, etc.  All travelers are encouraged to purchase additional flight or trip cancellation insurance from the airline or another company. The CISI insurance does not cover flight change costs due to outbreaks of disease (including, but not limited to H1N1 flu, COVID-19).

Review the CISI travel insurance policy well before departing.  Additionally, check with the international education office at your host institution about how to obtain local health insurance if you are able.  Know how to file claims for reimbursements on health care expenses.  In serious health emergencies, the local U.S. Embassy may be helpful to you. Once enrolled, students will have access to the myCISI Mobile App for emergency contact information, coverage details, claims assistance, and more. A guide to the myCISI Mobile App is available here.

All travelers should maintain primary health insurance coverage while abroad. The CISI insurance offered by Creighton-ILAC / GEO is a supplemental policy.

Creighton Global Travel Security Program

(Encuentro Dominicano and FLPA students only)

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Supported by AlertTraveler

In addition to CISI insurance coverage above, all Encuentro Dominicano students will also be enrolled in the AlertTraveler program. AlertTravelers and CISI insurance together make up the Creighton Global Travel Security Program. The Creighton University Global Engagement Office (GEO) supports Creighton students, faculty, and staff traveling across the world, 24 hours a day, every day through the Creighton Global Travel Security Program. All Encuentro Dominicano & FLPA students will be assessed a Global Travel Security Fee to his/her Creighton University bill for this coverage.

What are the program benefits and how does it work?

  • AlertTraveler provides several benefits, including access to the AlertTraveler Mobile app. AlertTraveler Mobile gives you immediate access to critical information potentially affecting your travel and well-being, including real-time push notifications of significant events, country risk ratings, and a library of location-specific information and tips for hundreds of cities globally.
  • Additionally, AlertTraveler puts assistance resources at your fingertips. Check in safely or request assistance during an emergency situation and access the 24/7 emergency support hotline at the touch of a button.