Caribbean - Sandals Resorts’ Mid-Pandemic Reopening Is off to a Rough Start
The company is warring with the governments of Grenada and Barbados over COVID accusations.
A COVID-19 outbreak, pissed-off customers, and a public fight with local government.
For a resort chain that promises “a no-worries vacation,” Sandals Resorts seems to be plagued with them.
Earlier this week, the Barbados Health Ministry de-listed the Sandals Barbados Resort and Spa as an official “quarantine hotel”—one of few locations where newcomers to the island can stay while awaiting the results of two negative PCR tests required to move freely around the island. In a statement, the ministry cited several “verified complaints” of COVID-19 protocol breaches at the 280-room, all-inclusive resort, and warned that it would take “similar actions” against any other property that failed to uphold the island’s rules and regulations. It also announced the arrest of three tourists suspected of breaking quarantine rules.
Hours later, the Jamaican-based hotel chain shot back with a statement of its own, claiming that it had been blindsided by the government's announcement. The resort claimed it had refuted all allegations of protocol violations in writing and requested a meeting with the health ministry, and was “amazed” to learn about the de-listing in the local press.
“We do hope that the Minister of Tourism, the Minister of Health and the Chief Medical Officer, who have not yet been to our hotel to see the protocols in operation, can prioritise a visit to do so,” the resort said in an unusually acerbic statement to Barbados Today.