Despite failing to fulfil its 70 percent immunization goal, the Dominican Republic has credited the decision to drop all COVID mandates restrictions to high vaccine uptake by their residents. The effort by the Caribbean island to remove lingering limitations follows a surge of comparable moves by governments worldwide.
The Dominican Republic has become the first Caribbean nation to abandon all COVID-19 mandates and restrictions last week, citing a “recovery of freedom” by the country’s president.
“I am announcing that as of today all the restrictive measures imposed by COVID-19 are suspended,” Dominican President Luis Abinader stated in a brief video statement on Wednesday, according to Diario Libre.
Per the Abinader, the nation “needs” and “deserves” to “leave behind the measures that we had to impose for a time that is already past. From now on, we will all have to take care of ourselves, responsibly, but without restrictions.”
“The country can also be sure that, unlike in the past, our health system is today prepared to deal with any eventuality. It is time to recover our freedom once and for all,” he continued. “And that hour, my dear people, begins today.”
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At 8:00 p.m. on February 16, the pandemic countermeasures were reversed. The island nation’s 11 million citizens, who share borders with Haiti, are no longer forced to sport masks in public settings or show confirmation of coronavirus vaccination to work or shop.
Despite failing to fulfil its 70 percent immunization goal, the Dominican administration has credited the decision to eliminate mandates and limitations to high vaccine uptake by Dominican residents.
The effort by the Caribbean island to remove lingering limitations follows a surge of comparable moves by governments worldwide.
The UK, Israel, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, and France, among others, have recently stated that many, if not all, of its harsh COVID limitations will be lifted.
The sudden lifting of authoritarian public health regulations has many people wondering if the limitations will be lifted permanently. COVID mandates have been revoked by some governments in the past, notably Israel, only to be re-applied subsequently.
Several worry that, notwithstanding the the withdrawal of COVID jab mandates and other restrictions, governments would continue to use tools developed during the epidemic to monitor, trace, and digitally identify residents, resulting in the creation of a global “checkpoint society” in the name of public safety.