This Caribbean Resort Company Is Requiring Guests at Its Hotels to Be Vaccinated
Elite Island Resorts — which includes nine resorts across the Caribbean — has announced that all guests will be required to be fully vaccinated upon arrival.
Beginning Sept. 1, all guests over the age of 12 will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination upon arrival to any Elite Islands Resorts property.
"Current science tells us that if you're vaccinated, you are less likely to become seriously ill, or end up taking up a hospital bed in a fragile medical environment such as the Caribbean where local resources cannot afford to be overburdened," Elite Island Resorts Founder and CEO Robert A. Barrett said in a statement shared with Travel + Leisure. "It's imperative for us to protect the hospitals of these smaller island nations, and while they have had a good track record so far with COVID-19, we must remain vigilant, and all do our part to become part of the solution."
Elite Islands Resorts includes Los Establos Boutique Inn in Panama, Palm Island in the Grenadines, The Club Barbados, St. James's Club Morgan Bay in St. Lucia, and five resorts in Antigua: Galley Bay Resort & Spa, Hammock Cove, St. James's Club & Villas, Pineapple Beach Club, and The Verandah Resort.
Barrett acknowledged that the vaccine mandate "may be disappointing to select travelers," and that the decision didn't "seek to divide."
"After weighing all the choices, issues, and concerns, mandating vaccines was the wisest option in protecting the critical tourism industry of these beloved destinations which are so crucial to the survival of so many employees, and the only way we will be able to keep travel and tourism going strong throughout the fall and winter," he added.
Proof of vaccination can include a CDC vaccination card. For more information about specific destinations, visit the Elite Islands Resorts website.
Destinations around the world are increasingly mandating vaccines. San Francisco and New York City require proof of vaccine to enter certain establishments. In Puerto Rico, all hotel and short-term rental guests must be vaccinated. Turks and Caicos has also issued a vaccine mandate for visitors older than 16, and several cruise lines have followed suit.