Wow! Hard to imagine but prior to my trip to Jamaica last week, I had not been on the island since March16, 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic when the island was being closed down to international visitors, so when the opportunity presented itself for me to return to Jamaica I could not have been more excited.
During the pandemic, for months I have been helping clients change dates for travel to Jamaica and instructing them on protocols, testing dates and other requirements that were required for them to travel, so needless to say I had to go through the same process as my clients to make sure my return to Jamaica went as smoothly as possibly.
Steps leading up to my trip trip to Jamaica:
- Book my flights to Jamaica (noting my passport had to be valid for six months past my return date)
- Book my hotels (making sure that I booked hotels there were on the approved Covid-19 certified list for hotels
- Book Club Mobay VIP meet & greet and departure lounge services
Checking often on the Visit Jamaica website for the most up to date information, I went to the Covid-19 testing information and you put in your date of arrival to the island and it will tell you for sure what the first date you can test prior to your arrival says within 10 days of arrival many have tested too early – so putting in my arrival date to the island of 15 January 2021 / my first day I could test was January 6th, 2021 –
While I waited for my test date, I had already called around to see where in my town I could get tested with the proper PCR test they accept and knew when to expect the test results back before I chose the place to take my test. Once I was made aware my test results were back, I logged onto the lab website and was able to print my negative Covid-19 test results as I would be required to show them at the airport.
The next item on the list to address, no more than five days prior, was the required online travel authorization form which every passenger must submit(be sure and do a screenshot of the reference number of your submission) the information on the form is your name, dates of stay, resort where you are staying and so forth-don’t panic when as a resident of the USA it flags you as High Risk – everyone from the USA is flagged as that. When you receive your confirmation, print a copy of everything to show at your local departure city, connecting hub and then again in upon arriving into Jamaica.
Departure Day: Wear a Mask – Arrive at the airport two hours prior to departure, be prepared to show your passport, flight confirmation, negative Covid-19 test results and travel authorization.
Plan on wearing your mask in the airport, on the flight, in your shuttle to the hotel. There are hand sanitizing stations everywhere – do take advantage of those – but PLEASE be mindful that you might think some of the smelly hand sanitizers are nice, your seat mates on the airplane might be overwhelmed by the perfume smell, for many people wearing a mask is very stressful, almost to the point of being claustrophobic, added to that a near allergic reaction to very loud perfume smells, makes it almost to much- I experienced this personally on one of my connecting flights and to say it was extremely uncomfortable, doesn’t begin to describe it.
Once we landed in Montego Bay, the plane was unloaded a few rows at a time to social distance, then we entered through a medical tent where they checked our temperature, after this I was met by my CLUB Mobay by Vip Attractions and promptly escorted through immigration and customs and taken to the Sandals Resorts arrival lounge.
Upon my shuttle being announced for Sandals Negril, I identified my luggage and proceeded to my shuttle, I wore my mask, the shuttle driver wore my mask and it was apparent that he had sanitized the vehicle prior to me getting in.
Upon arrival to Sandals Negril, I was met by one of my personal butler team (as you can see my suite was sealed after cleaning awaiting my arrival) and the butler broke the seal with my room key all part of the Sandals Platinum Protocols of Cleanliness and inside each suite is a photo showing all the touch points that have been sanitized as well as on the bathroom counter is a bottle of hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes if you wish to use those as well.
After my stay at Sandals Negril, I also stayed at Sandals South Coast and Sandals Royal Caribbean (each hotel is on the approved Covid-19 hotel list)each time I arrived at a new resort my temperature was checked, I wore my mask, each driver wore their mask, resort staff wore their mask. As a courtesy each time I was in direct conversation with someone I wore a mask, if I was standing outside a restaurant with a group of other guest I wore my mask until I was seated at my table, but on the beach, by the pool no one was wearing their mask, just having a great time enjoying their much needed vacation.
As you may know President Biden did mandate that beginning 26 January 2021, that all returning passengers into the USA from an international destination must have negative Covid19 test done 72 hours prior to departure back to the USA – I was delivered an appointment card to my room at Sandals Royal Caribbean to advise of my date and time, took my test and they gave me the paperwork required to board my flight back to the USA (Sandals Resorts and other major resorts are doing the test on resort so their guest are not inconvenienced on their vacation )
On departure day – I presented myself to American Airlines to check in, showed my required return Covid-19 test results paperwork and then proceeded through security to wait for my flight like normal in the Club Mobay Departure Lounge. (be sure to confirm this in advance at it is currently limited occupancy)
Yes if I am honest, it was a pain to have to wear a mask in the airport, on the plane and anywhere public around other people, but this was a small price to pay for the mental health refreshment that traveling did for me and I will gladly do it again as my schedule allows. Tourism is so important to Jamaica as well as other islands throughout the Caribbean – if we all work together to do our part by following the mandates in place by the local government we can safely travel. Honestly, I felt more safe traveling through the airport, on my flights and throughout my stay in Jamaica than I do each time I visit my local grocery store or Wal-Mart – I for one need the freedom to travel and to begin to feel I am getting back to normal at least a little bit, so a trip to Jamaica was just what I needed.
Do you have any other questions or are you ready to book your trip to Jamaica? If so feel free to email me [email protected] or give me a call 931-337-0770
I have been posting many photos and videos on my Instagram page @LindaDancerhmi just to show what it looks like on the resorts now –
Considering Sandals Resorts for your vacation, elopement or destination wedding? As a Sandals Chairman’s Royal Club Specialist and Platimum Wedding Specialist – I would love to talk to you about my experiences at Sandals Resorts in Jamaica as well as the new Sandals Platinum Wedding Protocols – no fees to work with me and best Sandals Resorts pricing guaranteed.