Mon | Sep 27, 2021

Kudos to Moon Palace on COVID-19 protocols

Published:Monday | September 13, 2021 | 12:07 AM


I am writing because I am among the vaccinated Jamaicans who have lost patience with those who refuse to take the vaccine or adhere to the prescribed protocols so that children can return to schools and adults to some semblance of normality. Very few of us are taking this pandemic seriously.

And regrettably, just as our tourism industry was starting to rebound, the United States has advised its citizens not to travel to Jamaica for vacations. For what it’s worth, I can confidently invite Americans, Canadians, Jamaicans and others to take their vacations along our resilient corridor on the north, west and south coasts, because it is safe to do so.

Following my recent vacation at Moon Palace in Ocho Rios, I left wishing I could afford to simply reside there indefinitely to ride out the pandemic. They are so meticulous in adhering to the recommended anti-COVID-19 protocols, I was impressed.

At the time of my stay, some 50 per cent of the staff had already received one dose of the vaccine. Mask wearing among staff is mandatory, and there are serious consequences for failure to comply. The protocols begin upon arrival with hand sanitising and temperature checks. We wait in queues to check in, social distance-style, at a counter that is wiped clean after each guest leaves. Mask wearing is also mandated for guests in all public spaces, such as dining rooms, gym, the lobby, auditorium, spa, etc.


When entering the dining room, there are temperature checks, phones are sanitised, and hands are also sanitised. Seating is adequately spaced and guests are not allowed to touch serving utensils or food. Room service personnel and housekeeping staff simply knock at your door and hand you your requests; they do not enter the rooms.

Mini bars are only stocked after guests check into their room, at which time you are handed the items to stock the fridge yourself. Seating and high-touch areas in lobbies and common areas are frequently sanitised, and beach furniture is sanitised for each new user. There is a limit on the number of guests allowed in the club and concert venue. The one time I forgot my mask, I was immediately sent to retrieve it before I could get the desired attention.

When I asked officials in the tourism sector about the attention to detail, I was told that this is the case for all major hotels and that there are rooms or floors set aside for guests to isolate if they test positive for COVID-19. Additionally, hotels are not allowed 100 per cent occupancy until the Government gives them permission.

So, come to Jamaica for sun, sand and safety.