The longest-running resort in Barbados offers the latest in how to deal with COVID-19.
The Crane Resort, run by Toronto-based Canadian Paul Doyle, offers a novel approach that is very difficult to beat.
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Visitors to Barbados must follow very strict protocols. Future arrivals should have a PCR COVID-19 test three days prior to their arrival. You will be retested upon arrival and will get the results quickly.
What The Crane did is pretty awesome.
“When you get there, go to your apartment here at the Crane,” Doyle said in an interview. “We’ll give you a test the next morning and you will get the results the next morning.”
If visitors arrive with a negative COVID-19 test, they will be given a blue bracelet upon arrival at The Crane. They can wander through the grounds, use one of their large pools and order room service in one of their excellent restaurants.
If the tests are negative after the next result (and they were 99.5% of the time), guests will be given a green bracelet, indicating that not only are they running the property, but they are free to get around all of Barbados.
It’s a great program. But there is the kicker. If someone tests positive upon arrival and has to spend time in isolation, and if they’ve already booked five days with The Crane, Doyle will provide them for free until their isolation is terminated.
Barbados has a policy of offering free accommodation to visitors if they test positive on arrival. However, the accommodations are fairly basic and the food fairly pedestrian-friendly as one would expect from a government establishment.
“It’s fine, but probably no one has the idea of a vacation,” Doyle said with a laugh.
However, the Crane is one of the most beautiful resorts on the island, and you can arrange (for a fee, of course) to have wonderful meals safely delivered to your room. It’s the only resort in Barbados with such a plan.
Crane Resort Garden Suite with Pool
Doyle said he has reserved two buildings with one and two bedroom apartments, spacious, jungle-like courtyards, and private pools for guests who need to isolate for several days.
“We are now government approved for you to stay in one of our apartments,” said Doyle. “What we’re going to do is if you’ve booked five or more days and need to stay ten or eleven, the rest is up to us. We’ll give you an apartment or one or two bedrooms. Most have their own pools. “
“We’re going to bend over to take care of people and make sure they’re happy,” he said.
Unlike the US, Barbados has universal health coverage. Visitors who develop COVID-19 will not be charged for their hospital stays.
If a guest at The Crane is found to have COVID-19 and needs to isolate, Doyle said he can get it working.
“We built a medical facility just for that,” he said. “We added special walls, sinks and other facilities. Doctors can come to a special room and put on their special suits and treat patients. “
Guests who are isolated can order from The Crane’s restaurants and are perfectly safe, as are other, uninfected guests.
“This is not a risk,” he said. “If the virus doesn’t go through a mask, it certainly won’t go through a 10-inch concrete wall.”
They didn’t have any major incidents, but the resort has cameras on site in case anyone decides to go for a walk in isolation.
Doyle said Barbados had “literally no cases of COVID-19 right now” and that almost all of the cases they had were from visitors and not spread throughout the community.
“The logs here are some of the best in the world.”
When asked how he got the idea, Doyle said he assumed from the start that success in tourism these days would “require cooperation or a marriage between health and safety. It took some creativity to get this right, but the Department of Health welcomed our efforts. “