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Sandals Caribbean resorts in hot water over COVID-19 ‘breach’

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Life’s a beach at Sandal resorts unless there’s a COVID-19 breach. Then, the fun stops.

The all-inclusive vacation getaway chain is in hot water at properties on the tiny Caribbean islands of Barbados, Grenada and Saint Lucia.

In Barbados, the resort on Dover Beach is in a faceoff with the government over “verified breaches” of COVID protocol, Barbados Today reported. On Tuesday, the country’s Ministry of Health and Wellness will delist the Sandals Barbados Resort and Spa as a designated quarantine hotel.

The hullabaloo is about three tourists who broke quarantine – two removed their quarantine wristbands and another falsified documents. They’re being held by authorities.

The chain came out swinging, denying the breaches and accusing health officials of “heavy-handed action” in the middle of talks with the ministry, the outlet reported.

And the resort insists the tourists — two are from the UK — aren’t “in any way associated with its guests.”

Sandals officials, in a statement, maintain they’re “stringent compliance of any and all new protocols” and use one of the two hotels on the property exclusively for quarantining guests. The other one is for post-quarantine vacationers only.

In Grenada and Saint Lucia, health officials have tied COVID-19 outbreaks to Sandals properties.

The Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort
Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort
Dimitrios Kambouris

The Sandals Grenada is closed until Feb. 3 after several cases traced back to the resort played a role in triggering a partial lockdown of the island in mid-December. The government put restrictions in place after 26 cases nationwide popped up in one day.

Adam Stewart, the chain’s deputy chairman, told Travel Pulse, a tourism website, that the resort is putting up the guests who had been booked for the Grenada property at other Sandals in the Caribbean that they choose.

In October, Sandals Saint Lucia dismissed allegations of a coronavirus outbreak just days after reopening.

“Nothing could be further from the truth, and we effusively deny these baseless rumors,” the resort in a statement at the time.

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