Semana Santa Restrictions 2018

Operation Holy Week/ Operativo Semana Santa

El Centro de Operaciones de Emergencias (COE) has announced it’s plan for Semana Santa 2018 (how do Dominicans celebrate Semana Santa?).

From 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 29, to 8 p.m Sunday, April 1 the operative plan “Unión Santa Por tu Seguridad y Los Valores Semana Santa 2018” / “Holy Union for Your Security and the Values of Holy Week 2018” will be up and running.

The director of the COE asks people to remember that Holy Week is a time to commemorate the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus and that “the time is propitious to be with loved ones.”

Remember the reason for all the celebration is to remember Holy Week known as Semana Santa in Dominican Republic. There are many processions and things happening in the churches countrywide. Try and visit one during this time to remember why we celebrate this time.

A Passion Play Procession put on by the Colegio Santa Clara during Semana Santa

Working to prevent traffic accidents and drowning deaths the COE will have the support of more than 4,300 people, including brigadistas, doctors, paramedics, military and police, placed in strategic locations throughout Dominican Republic.

There will be 2,733 relief stations located at points identified as critical in beaches, spas, roads, highways and avenues of the country. There will be 138 Ambulances, 150 Immediate Response Units(URIs), 3 helicopters, these by order of the Minister of Defense; 42 tow trucks, 14 boats, 30 auto repair stations, 6 mobile hospitals, 9 regional command centers and more.

*It is illegal for businesses to sell liquor on Good Friday (some still do) so if you want to drink buy your beverages ahead of time.

*Many of the nation’s beaches are closed. This is a link to all the beach closures

*Jet Skis and Wave Runners, Motorized Boats, Horses, Motorbikes, and Motorized Vehicles are NOT permitted on the beaches in the entire country from Thursday to Sunday. The only places that boat transport is permitted are on authorized boats to Laguna Gri Gri, Isla Saona, Isla Catalina and Cayo Levantado.

*There is usually a curfew of 5:45PM for swimmers to get out of the water daily on busy public beaches.

*Heavy equipment vehicles are prohibited to be on highways from 6AM Thursday until 6AM Monday unless they have a special permit.

*Many places have a ban on loud music for the weekend. Inside businesses it is OK but the noise is not permitted to weft outside. This is not enforced like it used to be but it still happens in many locations. It is especially quiet on Good Friday from around noon until midnight.

*The annual Good Friday/ Viernes Santo concert celebration is a big part of the Holy Week/ Semana Santa celebrations here in Dominican Republic. The concert will be in the oldest Cathedral in the Americas, Cathedral de Santa Maria, also known as Cathedral de Santo Domingo, Primada de América. On Friday March 30, 2018 at 8PM.

Don’t forget to eat some delicious Habichuelas con Dulce. It’s an Easter tradition. Get the recipe for Dominican Sweet Beans here.

Learn how Semana Santa is celebrated in Dominican Republic.