In preparation for welcoming guests back to its all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, Sandals Resorts has revealed how it plans to operate in a post-COVID-19 world.

The pool at Sandals Grande St. Lucian
Sandals Resorts has announced how it plans to operate in a post-COVID-19 world © Sandals Resorts

The Jamaican operator intends to re-open most of its resorts on June 4, followed by its two Bahamas properties on July 1. It has introduced new protocols that range from enhanced cleaning routines to required temperature checks for team members before starting a shift, and is introducing a new online check-in procedure that allows guests to go straight to their rooms upon arrival.

The bathroom in a Sandals South Coast Overwater Bungalow
Guests can go straight to their rooms upon arrival © Sandals Resorts

Sandals has implemented integrated advanced hygiene practices across 18 key touchpoints, starting from the moment guests arrive at airport lounges. They also include back-of-house facilities, such as storerooms and offices through the entirety of the resort. All hard surfaces will be inspected, cleaned and sanitised at 20-minute intervals, with a minimum of three inspections daily. Additional hand sanitising stations will be provided for guests and team members throughout the resorts, at all dining locations and within each individual guest room.

The beach  at Sandals Grande St. Lucia
Sandals plans to re-open most resorts on June 4 © Sandals Resorts

Any items that guests will come in contact with – from room cards to welcome cocktails glassware – will be sanitised before distribution. Hospital-grade disinfectants and electrical aerosol sprayers will be introduced for advanced cleaning, and UV-LED lighting equipment will be used to inspect cleanliness. Air duct sanitisation will be employed for each arrival and upon each departure, weekly steam-cleaning and sanitisation of carpeting will take place, and there will be a placement of anti-bacterial gels and soaps in each guest room.

A Sandals South Coast Overwater Bungalow
Guests will have the ability to check-in online © Sandals Resorts

Guests will have the ability to check-in online, allowing them to skip the front desk and go directly to their room. Sandals is introducing new ways to encourage guests to maintain a safe social distance, including the addition of more airport transfers with fewer guests per vehicle, extending check-in times between visitors, and setting up a safe social distance across restaurants, bars and beaches. Handshakes will be replaced with a nod and a smile; and elevator trips will be restricted to one couple per trip at Sandals Resorts and one family per trip at Beaches Resorts, with staff members taking alternate routes.

A bedroom at Sandals Royal Caribbean Overwater Villa
Any items guests will come in contact with will be sanitised before distribution © Sandals Resorts

All staff members will be required to wear protective face gear and gloves at all times when on the resort, and ensure uniforms are not worn during travel to and from work. They will also undergo required temperature checks before the start of each shift in addition to stringent medical clearance. Vendors, suppliers and partners will also be held to the new standards. To provide increased health reassurance, each of the resorts will be equipped with medical stations staffed daily with a registered nurse and 24/7 on-call medical personnel.

For further information on Sandals, please see its website here.

Keep up to date with Lonely Planet's latest travel-related COVID-19 news here.

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