After closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation, Sandals Resorts on Monday announced it will begin reopening its properties across the Caribbean the first week in June.
Most of the company’s 18 resorts are scheduled to re-open on June 4, including properties in Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and Turks & Caicos.
Its Bahamas locations, Sandals Royal Bahamian, and Sandals Emerald Bay, have a scheduled opening date of June 15, due to “several ongoing travel restrictions, airport closures, and increased government protocols which have caused border closure extensions,” a Sandals spokesperson told Travel Market Report. “These dates are therefore subject to change, as they are dependent on those factors.”
Sandals and Beaches Resorts initially closed on March 30 as the coronavirus pandemic spread across the region.
Upon reopening, the company has introduced “Sandals Platinum Protocols of Cleanliness” to address changing consumer expectations. Housekeeping will now include hospital grade hospital-grade disinfectants, electrical aerosol sprayers, UV-LED lighting equipment to inspect cleanliness, air duct sanitization for each arrival and upon each departure, and a weekly steam-cleaning and sanitization of carpeting.
There will be a minimum of three inspections daily for all hard surfaces – from door handles to public restrooms, which are inspected, cleaned and sanitized in 20-minute intervals, kitchens, bars and restaurants, including menus, tables, cutlery, glassware, chairs and more; and swimming pools and hot tubs.
The new protocols will focus on eighteen key touch points – starting from the airport lounge through the entirety of the resort experience, including to guest rooms, food and beverage experiences, and all public areas.
Guests will have the ability to check-in online, allowing them to skip the front desk and go directly to their room. Handshakes from staff will be replaced with “a nod and a smile.”
Additional hand sanitizing stations will be provided for guests and team members throughout the resorts, at all dining locations, and in individual guest rooms.
To encourage social distancing, Sandals said it will add more airport transfers with fewer guests per vehicle, extend check-in times between visitors, set up “a safe social distance across restaurants, bars and beaches,” and restricting elevator trips to one couple per trip at Sandals Resorts and one family per trip at Beaches Resorts, with staff members taking alternate routes.
All team members across resort locations will also undergo required temperature checks before the start of each shift in addition to undergoing medical clearance. They will also participate in ongoing specialized training.