While there are signs that the travel industry is slowly starting to rebound, with the TSA this week reporting its highest average numbers of fliers since the start of the pandemic, there is still plenty of uncertainty about whether it’s safe to hit the road—and a long list of regulations to keep in mind when you do. Among the latter is the requirement that all commercial-air travelers (including citizens and permanent residents) entering the US present proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within three days of their departure. In response to this CDC-issued rule, many international resorts have begun offering on-site testing for their US guests prior to departure. But we know of only one place that’s come up with a noteworthy (and luxurious) way to handle the situation when a guest tests positive.
Located on Nassau, Bahamas’ Cable Beach, the Baha Mar resort is made up of three separate hotels—from Rosewood, SLS and Grand Hyatt—along with an array of pools and restaurants, a spa and a casino. The resort fully reopened this month with a host of safety protocols in place, including the need for a rapid antigen test in a private lounge upon arrival. The rapid test is in addition to the negative PCR test, health insurance and health visa currently required by the government of the Bahamas for incoming visitors.
What’s a first for the industry, though, is what happens if you test positive—either upon arrival or before departure. Thanks to the new Travel with Confidence program, guests who have a positive antigen test at check-in will receive a PCR test to confirm the results, and then will need to quarantine in their suite for up to 14 days (or until they receive a negative PCR test), with the resort covering the costs of any of those days that are beyond what the guest originally booked. A similar situation happens with departing guests. A couple of days prior to check-out, all guests whose destination countries require proof of a negative Covid test will be offered their choice of either a rapid antigen (complimentary) or a PCR ($112 per person) test, both administered on site. If a guest tests positive, they and their immediate party (those staying in the same room) will be offered a complimentary stay of up to 14 days in a suite at the same hotel in which they were originally booked.
In both cases, because guests will be required to remain in their suite under quarantine, they will also be given a daily dining credit of $150 per person, which can be used to order meals from select restaurants at the resort. Should the guest prefer to return to the US immediately, Baha Mar will enlist an authorized medical transport provider to organize a private jet back home for the unwell guest and up to three other members of their immediate family—at no charge. In order to qualify for either the comped suite or the plane, Baha Mar must have been the guest’s first stop upon entering the Bahamas.
“In this ever-changing travel environment, it is our goal to alleviate travelers’ concerns surrounding Covid-19, in an effort to ensure the health, safety and comfort of our guests,” said Graeme Davis, president of Baha Mar, in a statement about the new initiative. “Our Travel with Confidence program is the first of its kind in the industry, providing travelers with added peace of mind and the option to either safely return home or to quarantine at no added expense—the choice is theirs.” Find more on the Travel with Confidence program here and Baha Mar’s other wellbeing initiatives here.