This Caribbean resort has built its own Covid-19 lab for guests and locals – .

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This Caribbean resort has built its own Covid-19 lab for guests and locals – .


International travel has experienced hiccups during the pandemic due to the often changing requirements surrounding Covid-19 testing to cross borders. But a hotelier takes matters into their own hands when it comes to making the process as easy as possible.

Paul Doyle, owner of The Crane Resort in Barbados, has built his own Covid-19 testing lab at the hotel. According to the resort and local officials, its Barbados COVID lab is the only one of its kind associated with a hotel in the Caribbean and makes it easier for guests to manage the testing process, as testing and results are managed on-site. . The tests are certified to be used for re-entry in other countries.

While the tests are easy to find in some places, they are more difficult than others. Many overseas properties quickly implemented free or discounted testing for customers when countries started requiring them to return after being overseas. These are usually done in a hotel or resort and then sent to a lab for processing. Offsite lab processes add time and expense to the process for travelers.

Building a lab from scratch

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Doyle is a hotelier and is focused on making operations run smoothly with top notch hospitality. After all, that’s what people look for when they travel. But when Covid-19 quickly ravaged demand for island visits and people’s ability to travel freely, he knew he had to take a different approach. For Doyle, it wasn’t enough to rely on government facilities or independent labs to handle what can be a stressful process for his guests.

He wanted to do it himself.

Its on-site Covid PCR test lab can return results in hours, not days. This is especially important for visitors who travel long distances without having the luxury of waiting 24 hours (or sometimes longer) to receive results via email. No one knows how long PCR testing will be needed, but it sure won’t be forever.

The complex has two fully automated Applied Biosystems machines: the “Kingfisher Flex” (used for magnetic particle extraction) and the “7500 Fast” real-time PCR system.

Doyle worked closely with the Barbados Public Health Laboratory and the World Health Organization (WHO) to gain the proper authority and acquire the right equipment to perform his own tests. The machines needed to process the tests don’t come cheap, and it took nearly a year to navigate the process. It also included shipping delays due to logistical issues with getting the equipment to the island.

Quick test for everyone

The Crane Resort also offers testing for locals, expats, and guests of other hotels. In addition to rapid PCR tests, the lab also offers rapid antigen testing in around 15 minutes. This is especially important as the resort is an official quarantine hotel for visitors who need to self-isolate upon arrival.

The crane even offers a fast-track option for customers that includes PCR testing on arrival and rapid antigen testing on departure (or PCR if needed) as well as VIP treatment at the airport. Guests are greeted before entering the customs hall and escorted through the myriad of steps that Barbados (like many countries) has imposed on arriving visitors to avoid unwanted positive cases.

“We know that visitors who have been stranded and have waited a long time for their vacation will appreciate a hassle-free airport experience and quick test results,” said Doyle.

The resort, known as the Caribbean’s first resort hotel (it opened in 1887), has separate sections for those who need to self-isolate for several days as well as traditional overnight guests. Departing travelers can proceed to the resort, located just 10 minutes from the international airport, to get tested before a flight.

While some parts of the world are reopening to vaccinated travelers and others allowing those who test negative, hotels around the world are getting creative to make the travel experience easy to understand. From “resort bubbles” to fully vaccinated air flights, the recovery of the travel industry will be based on making people feel safe while keeping the travel requirements from being too onerous. With the number of Transportation Security Administration passengers increasing from US airports as family and leisure travel rebound, reinsurance appears to be working.

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