Elite Island Resorts has announced that as of Sept. 1, 2021, all guests over the age of 12 will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination upon arrival.
Elite Island Resorts is an all-inclusive travel company representing nine hotels in Antigua, Saint Lucia, The Grenadines, Barbados and Panama.
"With hospitality at the core of what we do, compassion lives deep within our souls, so it has always been our duty to protect the health and safety of our guests and our employees, first and foremost. Further, we have a commitment to our communities and the destinations in which we operate,” said Elite Island Resorts Founder and CEO Robert A. Barrett. “Current science tells us that if you’re vaccinated, you are less likely to become seriously ill, or end up taking up a hospital bed in a fragile medical environment such as the Caribbean where local resources cannot afford to be overburdened."
"It’s imperative for us to protect the hospitals of these smaller island nations, and while they have had a good track record so far with COVID-19, we must remain vigilant, and all do our part to become part of the solution.”
Barrett recognized that the new mandate "may be disappointing" to some travellers while "uplifting and encouraging" to others.
"Travel breeds tolerance and with this decision, we don’t seek to divide, because as hoteliers, we bring cultures and people together. Yet, in today’s world, we must consider so many more variables to do that, all while respecting the integrity of these beautiful islands and the people who work in them," Barrett said.
"After weighing all the choices, issues, and concerns, mandating vaccines was the wisest option in protecting the critical tourism industry of these beloved destinations which are so crucial to the survival of so many employees, and the only way we will be able to keep travel and tourism going strong throughout the fall and winter."
"People rely on us for work—to support their families and their livelihood—so in making this choice, we work for them, too."
Elite Island Resorts represents five resorts in Antigua which include Galley Bay Resort & Spa, Hammock Cove, St. James’s Club & Villas, Pineapple Beach Club and The Verandah Resort.
And in Saint Lucia, St. James’s Club Morgan Bay; in Barbados, The Club Barbados; in The Grenadines, Palm Island; and in Panama, Los Establos Boutique Inn.