This Bahamas resort offers free quarantine and private-jet flights to guests who get COVID-19
The Bahamas is one of several countries in the Caribbean open to international visitors.
It’s set up a robust arrivals system meant to keep the spread of COVID-19 to a minimum, including pre-arrival testing and mandatory health insurance plans that cost between $40 and $60, depending on the length of your stay.
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The required insurance plan issued by the Bahamas covers up to to $50,000 in COVID-19-related medical expenses incurred on the islands, as well as up to $7,000 in quarantine-related expenses, if necessary (up to $500 per day).
Baha Mar — a giant resort complex in the city of Nassau — specifically said that if a guest tested positive, they’d be given the opportunity to complete a quarantine period on the property or fly home via “private aircraft or air ambulance,” arranged by the property’s so-called Special Guest Ops team.
Initial details of this program were light, but now we have more information about what this contingency plan would look like should someone test positive while on property.
In a press release issued Monday, Baha Mar said that it would provide “courtesy suite accommodations” for up to 14 days, including a $150 per person, per day dining credit, or “should the guest need to return to the United States earlier,” a free flight on a private jet back to the U.S. facilitated “via a medical evacuation provider,” according to a Baha Mar spokesperson, for the COVID-19-positive guest and their immediate family members. These services are funded by Baha Mar itself and come at no additional cost to guests.
These offerings build upon the property’s “Commitment to Your Wellbeing” program, which includes complimentary rapid antigen testing upon arrival and prior to departure if your home country requires it. (The United States has required proof of a negative rapid antigen or PCR COVID-19 test for entry since Jan. 26.)
With the U.S.’ still-new testing requirement for entry in mind, this offering from Baha Mar raises a few questions. The CDC says that limited exceptions to the rule will be considered, on a case-by-case basis for those with “exigent circumstances where emergency travel is required to preserve health and safety (e.g., emergency medical evacuations).”
One may be able to enter the U.S. without a negative COVID-19 test if an exemption is granted for a medical evacuation. And, according to Baha Mar, the service it is working with to arrange the flights — Air Ambulance Worldwide — would work with the appropriate authorities “to guarantee they’d be allowed into the U.S.”
Finally, according to the Baha Mar spokesperson, if anyone tests negative again for COVID-19 during their quarantine period, the resort would work with them to coordinate a return to the United States “via commercial air carriers.”
If you find yourself in the less-than-ideal situation having to take advantage of this, the private-jet flight would take you to South Florida, and you’d have to arrange onward travel — if necessary — from there.
Because of the U.S.’ negative-test entry requirement, it makes the situation of returning to the U.S. after being diagnosed with COVID-19 more difficult, though it seems Air Ambulance Worldwide will ensure that a COVID-19-positive guest will satisfy the CDC’s criteria for a medical evacuation.
We certainly hope no one would find themselves in a situation where they’d need to take advantage of this free ride home on a private jet, but at the same time we are very excited that Baha Mar will offer COVID-19-positive guests a complimentary 14-day quarantine with a generous daily dining credit. This would go a long way to make what surely would be a stressful time a lot more comfortable.
Featured image by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy
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