Saturday, September 30, 2023

How Atlantis Contradicts Minnis on the Rapid Antigen Test

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Prime Minister Hubert Minnis remains stern in his COVID-19 measures requiring that all visitors, staying longer than four nights and five days in the country, receive a rapid antigen test on the fifth day of their arrival in the country.

However, he and Atlantis Resort are not on the same wavelength on the administration of the test on the fifth day of arrival. The resort is telling its visitors that the test is not required on the fifth day as long as they remain on the property.

Why it matters

The country is set to receive an increased number of international visitors but Atlantis and the government appear to be operating by different standards and expectations.

What PM Minnis says

  • Everyone traveling into the  Bahamas from the U.S. or any other destination must have a valid negative COVID-19 RT-PCR Test. This test must be taken no more than five days from the day of travel.
  • Everyone, including citizens, residents, and visitors, entering the Bahamas must also have an international travel health visa.
  • These new travel and entry protocols have now gone into effect. These create a two-pronged approach to fight COVID-19, inclusive of a health screening survey, and testing.
  • For anyone, including citizens, residents and visitors, staying longer than four nights and five days in the country, a rapid antigen test must be administered on the fifth day of their arrival in The Bahamas. There are places to obtain these tests throughout The Bahamas. Where there are no private medical facilities, government clinics may be used.

What Atlantis says

  • No. It is not required for registered guests to get re-tested on Day 5 of their stay as long as they stay in the safe zone for the duration of their stay and follow the Atlantis Clean & Safe Promise guidelines. If a registered guest would like to take a Rapid Antigen COVID-19 test on Day 5 – they may do so free of charge.
  • Registered guests whom vacation/stay in the safe zone for the entire duration of their stay do not have to undergo multiple testing, unlike other properties in The Bahamas, where additional COVID testing is required upon arrival and again on Day 5.
  • The registered guests of the Paradise Island safe zone properties will have access to all three properties’ amenities. Sanitized resort transportation to these venues will be provided to registered guests to ensure their health and safety.

Tourism Director General agrees with Atlantis

Joy Jibrilu, Director General in the Ministry of Tourism spoke to the Tribune and clarified the resort’s stance.

  • Atlantis has made several announcements informing that they are creating a travel bubble so that when their guests enter their property, it would be the same as if they are in quarantine.
  • They will not be allowed to leave and includes their staff members. So they would’ve tested everybody, including their staff members, in that bubble.
  • As a result of them creating a bubble, where once you enter you do not leave. they’ve been allowed to not apply the five-day test for the time being for their visitors who may be staying for five days or longer. Those who stay for five days or longer will be in that protected bubble. So it’s a global concept.”

What’s not known

  • How will the resort ensure it’s visitors stay within the ‘bubble?’
  • What happens if visitors leave the property?
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