After eight months of research, significant financial investment and close collaboration with Barbados’ Public Health Laboratory, The Crane Resort has opened the doors to the Barbados COVID Lab, the first COVID lab associated with a hotel in the Caribbean. The lab, which features state-of-the-art PCR instruments, was established following WHO guidelines for PCR testing facilities. Now, guests of The Crane Resort, as well as other visitors, expats and citizens can have their PCR tests processed within hours.
In celebration of opening, the Barbados COVID Lab is offering a “Jetsetter” package for US$109 (£79), that includes personal VIP service, being whisked through customs, immigration and the various Ministry of Health processes at the airport, a one-way transfer to The Crane Resort, a Rapid Antigen test on departure and a luxury “isolation suite” at no charge in the unlikely event a fully vaccinated visitor tests positive.
The Barbados Government is currently testing all passengers on arrival at the airport for free, for border entry, post a negative PCR test taken 3 days prior to arrival.
Unvaccinated guests who must take a PCR test on Day 5 of arrival can book an additional on-site test free-of-charge* with a quick turnaround of results in a matter of hours, compared to the usual 24-hour timeframe. In the meantime, they can spend a relaxing ‘quarantine’ period in a spacious, well-appointed suite with a kitchen and living area as well as a private pool, garden, or terrace. Upon receipt of a negative test, they are free to enjoy the rest of their holiday as normal.
Paul Doyle, owner of The Crane, has been proactive in his response to COVID-19 since the pandemic began: “Barbados has done an amazing job in controlling the spread of COVID-19 on the island, with current positivity rates less than 0.2%. We know that very accurate and speedy PCR testing will continue to be an important tool to keep visitors and Barbadians safe. Having our own automated PCR lab allows us to play an important part in this effort. New variants and – paradoxically – fully vaccinated visitors with a lower viral load in the rare instance they are positive, make high quality tests more critical than ever. In addition, we know that visitors who have been in lockdown and have waited a long while for their holidays will appreciate a hassle-free airport experience and speedy test results. We decided to help by building our own PCR lab.”
The lab, operated by qualified lab technicians, accepts online bookings, ensuring that guests can be immediately swabbed and have results back and be out of quarantine in a matter of hours. The lab also offers COVID-19 antigen tests with results available via email within approximately 30 minutes. In the rare event of a positive test, The Crane can also offer a luxury “isolation suite” with a private pool, free of charge, depending on the length of your stay, to wait out the self-isolation period until they are cleared to return home.
The Crane Resort, the oldest continually operating hotel in the Caribbean, with its 40-acre grounds, dramatic cliffside views and cooling breezes, has featured generous social distancing since 1887. As early as June 2020, The Crane was officially approved as one of the few designated facilities for repatriating nationals, using the Crane Confidence Program – a comprehensive suite of health and safety protocols. In July 2020, The Crane became Barbados’ first luxury quarantine and satellite testing hotel. In November of 2020, the hotel was approved as the island’s first luxury isolation hotel, so that in the unfortunate event of an asymptomatic positive test, guests could continue their stay in a luxury apartment with a private pool, while being assessed by the Ministry of Health.
“We have nothing but the highest regard for the team here in the Ministry of Health who have helped and guided us every step of the way. Most recently, we have enjoyed their support for the Barbados COVID Lab,” said Doyle.
Lab equipment includes two fully automated, state of the art instruments by Applied Biosystems: the “Kingfisher Flex” for magnetic particle extraction and the “7500 Fast” Real-Time PCR system. According to Doyle, the investment was worth it. “Our goal is to better protect Barbadians and visitors, which will ultimately contribute to the long-term health of The Crane Resort and the Barbadian tourism industry.”
The Barbados COVID Lab is open to anyone who wishes to enjoy the fast and easy service offered at the modern, professionally run lab. As The Crane Resort is located only 10 minutes from Grantley Adams International Airport, departing visitors can come the morning of their flight for a COVID-19 antigen test, have lunch overlooking the ocean, get their results in about 15 minutes, then go straight to their flight.
“The Crane Resort has played an integral role in the Barbados tourism industry since 1887, and we are committed to being part of its recovery 134 years later. Everyone in the tourism industry in Barbados cannot wait to welcome back visitors to the island, and we hope that our lab will help inspire confidence and encourage even more visitors to return to Barbados as soon as possible,” added Doyle.
For more information visit The Crane Resort, Barbados