Hard Rock’s Dominican Republic resort, where two US tourists died, pulls minibars from all rooms

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Courtesy of FOX

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (FOX) — The Hard Rock resort in the Dominican Republic, where two U.S. tourists died in the past year, says it is removing minibar dispensers from all its guest rooms.

The resort said in a statement that it is also contracting with a U.S. health care facility to ensure that the clinic at the resort “is complying with all international and U.S. standards of care.”

The move comes on the heels of the news that celebrity Steve Harvey has dropped plans to hold his third annual Sand and Soul Festival at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, which is in Punta Cana. The event, planned for October, is being canceled because of concerns about tourist safety in the Dominican Republic, where at least 11 U.S. tourists are known to have died in the past year after suddenly falling critically ill at all-inclusive resorts. Another U.S. tourist died in a luxury resort on the popular Caribbean vacation spot in 2016.

Dominican authorities have insisted from the time the first deaths were reported in May – when news broke that a Maryland couple were found dead in their room — that they were triggered by natural causes. But because the families of the tourists have raised doubts, saying that their loved ones had been generally healthy and showed no signs of illness prior to suddenly getting sick and dying in the Dominican Republic, Dominican authorities and the FBI are conducting tests of the minibars.

“Today, June 21, 2019, the Ministry of Public Health in the Dominican Republic has released further information on the American tourists who passed away in 2019, including autopsy findings that reveal these deaths were unrelated and from natural causes and pre-existing conditions,” the resort statement said. “We are deeply saddened by these unfortunate incidents, and extend our sincerest sympathy to the families of those affected. We will continue to respect the privacy of our guests and their families.”

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