BAHIA Principe Jamaica Resort has opened 250 rooms to the Government at its property in Runaway Bay, St Ann, to house people who need to be quarantined as part of efforts to slow the community spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The Government last month asked local hotels to make 600 rooms available to serve as quarantine facilities.
In an immediate response, Gordon “Butch” Stewart, chairman of Sandals Resort International, made a 52-room property (Carlisle Inn) in Montego Bay, St James, available to the Government.
Several other properties, including the Knutsford Court in St Andrew, and a number of those on Port Henderson Road, better known as the Back Road, in St Catherine, have also offered rooms to allow the Government to quarantine people who need to be in State-run facilities.
On Wednesday, Bahia Principe joined the growing bunch as it accepted its first set of Jamaicans to be quarantined. The property is also expected to house the more than 20 Jamaicans who returned to the island from Antigua yesterday in the first phase of the Government’s controlled re-entry programme of citizens who were stranded overseas.
“Bahia Principe Jamaica Resort figured that we want to be a part of the solution to this global pandemic that we are all experiencing.
“Our efforts in supporting the Government’s initiative in responding to the pandemic is as such that we have provided the 250 rooms to house persons who are to be quarantined,” Fabian Brown, director of internal organisation and corporate social responsibility at Bahia Principe Jamaica told the Jamaica Observer.
“We are working very closely with a team from the Ministry of Health and its members are on the property providing support services that would be required,” added Brown.
He said the hotel will provide the individuals it houses with three meals each day and all the other essentials that they need.
According to Brown, the hotel is not charging the Government for the rooms but the State will still face some costs.
“You would appreciate that powering up a large plant as we have does cause us to incur some amount of expense, so, too will be the provision of meals [but] the Government…has offered to defray some of those costs,” said Brown.
“Our social responsibility is what invoked our decision over any intent, desire, or vision of profit, because that cannot, and is not, our mission in this offer that we would have made,” he added.
He said Bahia Principe Jamaica Resort believes it is a privilege and honour, to be in a position to help with the initiatives in Jamaica to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as every effort is made to slow and prevent the spread of the dreaded virus.
“Part of our mission in doing this is our own belief and our own conviction that the human capital, in any country, in any organisation, is the most valuable asset that there is, and so to the extent that we can help to secure the well-being and health of Jamaicans we will do that,” he said.
The Bahia Principe Jamaica Resort executive pointed out that the hotel, which has faced reduced business since the global decrease in travel, spent the past two weeks handing out hundreds of care packages to its team members.
Brown noted that deliveries were also made to the St Ann Infirmary and the St Ann’s Bay Hospital, as part of the hotel’s COVID-19 relief support.
He underscored that Jamaica has been home to the Bahia Principe brand for nearly 15 years, during which time it has come to cherish the amicable, dynamic, and indomitable spirit of its people, especially in times of doubt and uncertainty.
“We remain confident that the industry will rise anew with opportunities and team members and will soon be able to again welcome our hundreds of guests to the resort and the island of Jamaica,” declared Brown.
Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts is a Spanish, family-owned group with almost 30 establishments and more than 14,000 rooms in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Jamaica, and Spain.
— Arthur Hall
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