Tourism is a major industry in the Caribbean and it has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although restrictions across the globe are still in place things are beginning to loosen up. As a result, Sandals Resorts is now discussing its plan for reopening their locations in the Caribbean.
Sandals state that it is planning on opening up the vast majority of its Caribbean resorts in June. They currently have resorts in Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Turks and Caicos, and the Bahamas. However, not all of the resorts will be opening up on that date.
“We are pleased to announce that all of our resorts (with the exception of our Bahamas resorts) are scheduled to reopen on June 4, 2020,” a spokesperson confirmed.
There are currently two Sandals Resorts in the Bahamas, in Nassau and Exuma. Right now these two locations are scheduled to on July 1st.
All of the reopening dates will depend on whether or not the local governments have reopened their borders by these dates. Air travel is also still heavily limited and flights may not be running by these dates as well.
“There have been several ongoing travel restrictions, airport closures, and increased government protocols, which have caused border closure extensions. These dates are, therefore, subject to change, as they are dependent on those factors,” the company said.
Even though opening dates are not concrete, Sandals Resorts will be prepared to reopen by then assuming borders are open. This is a major step for the tourist industry in the Caribbean. How quickly things get jump-started will also depend on how quickly key source markets such as the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdoms begin to allow non-essential travel.
Once things open, visitors will see a few key changes at Sandals Resorts. The company has released a broad list of changes to its operational and hygiene procedures. This includes increased cleaning of high use items and areas, using hospital-grade disinfectants, moving to online check in to reduce social interactions, and implementing social distancing practices in public areas.
“At Sandals Resorts, cleanliness and safety have always been priority #1. Our loyal guests and incredible team members are part of the Sandals family, and we take care of our family. Their health and safety is our focus.” said Gordon “Butch” Stewart, founder and chairman of Sandals Resorts. “We want our guests to not have to worry about a thing so they can enjoy the Luxury Included vacation they’ve trusted in time and time again. We’re doing everything we can to offer peace of mind during a time that has been difficult for the entire world, and that is why we have continued to evolve our protocols to maintain an even safer, healthier stay.”