Hotel companies and brands in the Caribbean have implemented a series of new operations, hygiene practices and vacation protocols to drive consumer confidence in preparation for gradual reopenings.

Sanitation has become a top priority as the hospitality sector begins to emerge from the devastating lockdown. 

Melia Hotels in Punta Cana and Mexico, for example, has a "Stay Safe with Melia" program that includes a representative in each hotel responsible for the emotional well being of guests and for verifying compliance with measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The Courtleigh Hospitality Group's enhanced sanitation procedures at its three properties in Jamaica include face masks for all guests. And Aruba's Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort's Covid-19 safety protocols were developed with CDC guidelines, WHO recommendations and in-person evaluations by practicing intensive care doctors and nurses.

Sandals detailed its sanitation and social distancing programs when it announced new opening dates for its resorts.

CleanComplete Verification at AMResorts

AMResorts' CleanComplete Verification program, centered on guest safety and peace of mind at its 58 resorts in the Caribbean, Mexico, Panama and Costa Rica, covers all aspects of resort operations and guest experience from welcome to departure.

"As the world reopens to a new normal and travelers begin to plan vacations once again, the health and safety of guests remain a top priority through these elevated efforts," said president Gonzalo del Peon.

The program includes hygiene check-in stations with temperature-check protocols upon arrival at the resort, use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer for staff handling luggage; hourly cleaning of the lobby with high-grade disinfectant; sanitation information on in-room tablets, printouts and TVs; and increased sanitation of high contact areas such as staircases, elevators, public areas, restrooms, sports equipment and spa facilities.

All Explorer's Club and Core Zone facilities will be cleaned and disinfected prior to opening, after closing and regularly during operating hours with temperature checks required for all before entering. Bars and restaurants will employ social distancing measures and all staff will wear masks; express check-out service will be implemented to reduce contact.

AMResorts has created staff positions responsible for the oversight of health and sanitation measures. Regular wellness training is provided to all personnel for their own health as well as the safety of guests. 

360-degree Clean Approach at Blue Diamond Resorts

Blue Diamond Resorts' eight-point Safety-Assured Vacations protocol covers its eight brands in the Caribbean and Mexico.

The company's program, which it calls 360-degree Clean Approach, includes hourly cleaning of all common areas, including pools, beaches, restaurants, bars, entertainment facilities, lobbies, elevators and hallways; golf carts and luggage trolleys will be sanitized throughout the day; and fitness center equipment and spa facilities will be cleaned after each use.

There will be increased disinfecting of air-conditioning systems in common areas and guest rooms. A cleaning program for kids and teens clubs and equipment has been implemented and physical distancing measures are in place to promote a safe environment for kids.

Restaurants have reduced capacity and have implemented a one-step reservation system to ensure that physical distancing guidelines are respected. Physical menus are eliminated, and digital screens are in place to display menu items.

In guest rooms, all touchpoints will be deep cleaned, including remote controls, doorknobs, hairdryers, closet doors, lamps, water faucets and toilet handles; new in-room hygiene kits with hand sanitizers, masks and gloves will be placed in each room and all nonessential amenities removed; room service procedures will emphasize safe and distant delivery.

Floor markers will be placed around common areas for physical distancing. Hygiene for resort staff will include the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), frequent hand washing and health and temperature checks at the beginning of each shift.

Safe + Sound at Hard Rock Hotels

The AIC Hotel Group has reinforced sanitation standards at its resorts in the Dominican Republic and Mexico.

"Our hotel teams have worked hand in hand with local and national authorities, while adhering to globally recognized guidelines to devise a number of added measures to provide a world-class vacation experience," said Frank Maduro, vice president of marketing.

The all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotels implemented a Safe + Sound program that includes hand sanitizing stations at all areas of hotels; increased frequency of deep cleaning and disinfecting of all public areas and guest rooms.

Employees are required to wear PPE based on their roles and responsibilities, and guests and staff must practice social distancing; capacity on elevators will be limited; buffet services are eliminated; and in-room dining will be contactless.

Updated: This report has been updated throughout with information regarding specific cleaning programs.

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