Tourism and Health officials will meet in the forthcoming week to discuss protocols which will be implemented by industry stakeholders to guide their operations upon resumption of business.
“The idea is safety for all the people, the employees and the guests as well, hence the reason why we are collaborating to ensure that every best practice possible to prevent any spread of Covid-19 is instituted.” said Minister Fernandez.
The Hon. Minister continued that “hopefully the government will relax the aspect of access to the beach as that is a very important part of our product offering and in this time a lot of our visitors will be coming to enjoy the sea and sun which may be deemed as necessary and therapeutic to fight the scourge of Covid-19.”
Minister Fernandez met last week with members of the Antigua and Barbuda Hotels and Tourist Association to discuss the state of the industry and the way forward amid the current Covid-19 crisis.
On Saturday, the Minister of Tourism was treated to a swift tour of the Sandals Resort to see first-hand the status of the property which has kept some employees on staff to see to its daily maintenance, security and upkeep.
According to General Manager Matthew Cornwall, the property is still in pristine state. The gardens are well kept, the pools and spas are cleaned and disinfected regularly even with no guests on property. Rooms are aired or humidified at regular intervals as well.
Ambassador at Large, His Excellency Brian Gonsalves who was present at the tour, stated that the resort is in a state of readiness as the Owner and CEO of Sandals Antigua, Mr. Gordon Butch Stuart, has indicated that in the very near future he will be commencing a timed re-opening of his regional hotel chain, with Antigua earmarked to be in the first 5 properties to be commence operations.
A few changes will be made such as social-distanced dining, prerequisite elevator-use hand sanitizing and the use of masks by employees and guests.
Staff at Sandals Resort and Spa are engaged in continuous training to operate efficiently in a state of Covid-19 alertness.
Minister Fernandez was fully appreciative and enthused about the developments at the resort saying that all industry partners should operate under the new paradigm and implement measures to ensure economic viability while maintaining optimal health and safety.
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Lets face it, tourism can no longer be our economic safety net at this time.
Who will be staying at Sandals, who will be dining with distancing protocols? Who coming here during hurricane season?Gimme an aspirin.
People might want to be out and about but who is risking life or limb to be in a hotel setting? Even if there is an entire health/safety & medical department in each hotel, there is STILL no vaccine or treatment.
Thank you. People have lost their collective minds with pretending that this pandemic is near over and it’s safe to resume business as usual.
We have no idea how many cases actually exist on this island as TPTB refuse to test an adequate number of people. Apparently, the people who have died suddenly in the last few weeks have not been tested.
And yet, they are talking about opening up the island and resuming tourism?
Hey ambassador at large his Excellency Brian gonsalves. Thats one hell of a grand title but can anybody tell me. Who is this fella ? Google doesn’t appear to know.
LMAO! I was wondering what does an “Ambassador at Large” do???? Do they “large up” themselves? Mercy me belly lol lol lol
It is way to soon to be thinking of reopening pple are dying in other countries who the hell gonna travel to Antigua? Y’all putting them staff at risk and the same staff got to go home to their families and communities.
Sandals needs to start giving back some of the billion in profit theyve made to the locals now in their time of need, not pushing for a dangerous reopening
Don’t blame Butch. Blame the spineless pushover that allowed Butch to hoodwink him into holding on to the ABST for so long.
Butch is not doing anything wrong.He is a business man.In the business to make money.It is up to the Administration to say yea and or nay.They hold the aces in their hands.
@ GRAPHICS You have me laughing so hard.Ambassador at Large.One with specific duties,not assigned to any Country.I want to be an Ambassador at Small and or Medium.How the heck could you reopened a Hotel of that size with social distancing rules applied.Do they really believed that guests would be travelling with those rules in place.They could stay at home and live that way.Not paying thousand of dollars to be sequestered in a Hotel room and not mingled.
They will do no such thing.
All the guide lines and protocols will come from the same source that caused us to use the word social distancing and wearing face masks.
Reality check…..The government here can make no policy. Everything is dictated to them.
Times up stop fooling the people….
These guys had to close all beaches according to the protocol given to them.
They could not open the beaches until they got the ok.
They could not close the borders until they were told to do so. The borders had to be left open until the virus was confirmed in the country.
Times up stop fooling the people
Now people i understand that we have serious situation on hand whit carona but they have to have some plan in place now if they going keep the country close whats going to happen when tourism is Main industry is the bread winer if they don’t open country 1 in few months no food will be in supermarkets 2 the less fortunate who depends on tourism like beach vendors who have no other in come the hotel worker them self 3 government workers depends tourism to cause the income from it help pay there salaries what they fail to inform people is that this virus can be spread by touching its an infected person cough or sneeze an leave drop lets is only way you would be infected so the protocols in place hand washing social distance it helps
….. we feel your pain, please realize that the beach vendors and taximen may just have to try a different avenue to survive. Listen well: even if the country reopens and the borders open fully, without a vaccine, the planes will be mostly empty!!!! You think anyone spending their holiday or honeymoon money to come to Antigua, to chance sitting up at Margetson ward, especially during hurricane season?
@s Harris I do understand your sorrows but this is why India donated one million us dollars to our country so we all could get help. However, we all know that this money is not going to go towards us as a nation. There is no excuse for the govt to reopen the country rn and tbh I believe pple are not being tested on purpose. Other countries in the Caribbean are Fu speed ahead of us. Stay woke
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