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International Resorts Step Up Testing Options In Response to New CDC Rules

Source: Conde Nast Traveler’s

On January 12, the CDC announced it would be requiring all international travelers, including U.S. citizens, to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test from within 72 hours of departure in order to board a flight to the States. Many Caribbean and Central American hotels and resorts—two of the few areas accepting American travelers amid the ongoing pandemic—were surprisingly well-prepared.

Many more hotels have publicized their COVID testing offerings since the requirement was first announced earlier this month. All 19 Hyatt hotels and resorts across the Caribbean, Mexico, Costa Rica, and South America—like the Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya and the Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro—are now offering two complimentary on-site PCR or rapid tests per room until May 31, 2021, with additional tests also available for purchase.

Eden Roc Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic is also now offering free PCR and rapid antigen testing in guests’ rooms. The Baha Mar resort—home to the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, SLS Baha Mar, and Rosewood Baha Mar—in the Bahamas is offering two complimentary, on-site rapid tests per room. Additional rapid tests and PCR tests available to purchase ($17 and $134, respectively). Morocco’s Royal Mansour resort has been offering on-site PCR tests for $78 since it reopened in October. And domestic hotels like the W South Beach Hotel and the Chateau Marmont are offering on-site testing to comply with certain state arrival guidelines.

The U.S. State Department announced January 25, ahead of the testing protocol going into place, that “U.S. citizens should reconsider non-essential travel abroad.” It mirrors the CDC‘s messaging, that “postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19” and non-essential travel is not encouraged. For those who do continue to travel, testing plays a major role. Aside from being required to test before returning to the U.S., the CDC recommends getting tested three to five days after your return and reducing all non-essential activities for seven days, even if your test results are negative. International travelers will also have to quarantine under an executive order, introduced on January 21 by President Biden. The specifics of the restrictions are being worked out by a number of federal agencies, so for now, the order requires international air travel passengers to follow CDC recommendations and quarantine for 10 days on arrival, in addition to providing negative COVID-19 test results.

This article was originally published on January 25, 2021 by the author.  It has been updated with new information.