Inns creep because the US modifications flight necessities
A resort employee wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus cleans sunbeds by a pool in Cancun, Quintana Roo state, Mexico on March 28, 2020.
Elizabeth Ruiz | AFP | Getty Images
Margarita? Beach chair? Nasal swab?
Beach resorts and small hotels across Mexico and the Caribbean are making efforts to give guests access to Covid testing as new travel requirements go into effect.
Starting Tuesday, the U.S. government will require travelers over the age of 2, including U.S. residents, to provide proof of a recent negative Covid-19 test result before boarding flights to the U.S.
The pandemic has already devastated the demand for travel, especially international travel. Mexico had remained a relative bright spot for vacation abroad, in part because it doesn’t have the testing or quarantine requirements that some other destinations have implemented, but the new rules have affected bookings.
“There is no doubt that the test requirement is negative in the short term,” said Andrew Nocella, United Airlines’ chief commercial officer, during a quarterly call Thursday. “But as these tests hit the market and … reopen the borders not just to Mexico but around the world, we think this is a good mid- and long-term change and will create more and more demand.”
United unveiled a new platform on Monday that offers travelers test requirements for their destinations, local test locations, and a portal to upload their test results that would be required to fly.
“”We’re going to work very, very hard to make sure that it’s really, really easy to travel with United despite the new testing requirements, “said Toby Enqvist, United’s chief customer officer, on the phone last week.
Hyatt Hotels announced Tuesday that its 19 resorts in Latin America will be offering free on-site Covid-19 testing for up to two guests per room through May 31.
According to Marriott International, many of its Mexico and Caribbean hotels are offering on-site testing and are working to expand access to testing based on new US regulations. For example, the JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort and Spa in San José del Cabo offers antigen-covid testing in the Mexican resort for about $ 33. Guests must make an appointment in advance and testing is subject to availability.
Hilton Worldwide Holdings also said that some of its resorts in Latin America and the Caribbean offer Covid testing or access to testing. Cancun’s Canopy Hotel does not offer on-site testing, but does offer free transportation for guests to be tested at city facilities.
Last week, Spanish hotel chain Melia Hotels International announced that 10 beach hotels in Mexico and the Dominican Republic will be offering free on-site covid antigen testing to guests whose countries require it before they return home.
For some smaller hotels, having access to tests is vital.
Grant Olson, who handles guest services at the eight-room boutique Hotel Rivera del Rio in Puerto Vallarta and sister hotel Garlands del Rio, has been working with local doctors for the past few weeks to ensure travelers can get hotel tests promptly if needed .
“We just thought that being a hotel would make it easier for guests not to have to worry, and we were hoping there would be some people who would keep traveling,” said Olson. Hotels offer PCR testing for around USD 160 and antigen testing for around USD 65.
The hotel has lowered some of its prices to attract travelers. Suites, which typically go for $ 200 a night, go for less than $ 70, Olson said.
“We’re just trying to keep the rooms filled and the staff paid,” he said.