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Updated 8/29/2021

2021 COVID-19 INFORMATION AND UPDATES

 

***COVID protocol for our September event will be determined in consideration with the

then-current COVID circumstances and announced by September 15, 2021. ***

Covid Travel Quick Info - Covid tests and Travel Authorization

TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION:  Travel Authorization applications must be submitted within seven (7) days of the intended travel date.  It is a requirement for check-in and boarding your flight and the airlines will not allow passengers to board without it.

Get you Authorization here.  All applications will be assessed immediately, with the outcome given onscreen and also sent to your registered email.

 

COVID TEST:  Get your test within 3 days of travel.  The negative test result must be presented to the airline representative in order to complete the check-in for a flight.

 

Note- if you miss your flight or you are delayed by one day, and you got your test 3 days out, you will need to re-test. Consider getting your test 2 days out. 

ACCEPTED TEST TYPES (per this page)
* A Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction Test (RT-PCR)
* A Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAA)
* An RNA or molecular test
* An Antigen test

Note:

* Only results from oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal samples will be accepted for PCR tests
* Only results from nasopharyngeal samples will be accepted for Antigen tests
* Antibody tests will NOT be accepted
* Results from home-based test kits will NOT be accepted

TEST RESULTS SHEET TO BRING: Ask for a test result sheet that has the following information (See the Jamaica test requirements here that says your sheet should ideally have the following):

* Name of individual tested (must be same on application and lab test result)

* Date of birth of individual tested (must be same on application and lab test result)

* Name of testing laboratory

* Indication of laboratory credentials (CLIA, ISO 15189)

* Date of sample collection

* Type of test

* Type of sample

* Test result

 

LABORATORY REQUIREMENTS:  The test must be conducted by a medical laboratory with either of the following credentials:

* Accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP)
* Registered by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)
* ISO 15189 certification

 

 

 

Concerned about COVID?

 

We are too, and we are actively and carefully watching and considering the issue. The safety of our staff, presenters, and attendees has and will always be our top priority. 

 

BeachBind has the option of operating entirely outside with strict COVID protocols, and we will do so if necessary. BeachBind takes place in the Jamaican resort corridor that is heavily locked-down. Jamaica is welcoming of and and actively encouraging tourism, relying on tourism for about 40% of its GDP. 

As of now there are no plans to cancel the event.  If you are considering cancelling or moving to the May 2022 BeachBind event, please make sure you understand your options before you do

 

BeachBind will consider the following for September 2021 depending on the then-existing COVID circumstances and government and hotel rules:

  • ​The event may be entirely or mostly outside. Please also note that the resort is structured as an open-air building, so the only time attendees have to be inside is in their own rooms, which have separate, individual ventilation systems. Even the lobby and main dining areas are open-air.

  • Social distance "bubbles" may be maintained. Optional wrist-bands will designate a desired "default" bubble

  • Masks may be required to be worn indoors if not everywhere in the resort (except in the pool/beach or while eating or drinking), depending on resort and health ministry rules.

  • If indoor spaces are used, capacity limitations may be implemented and enforced.

  • Everyone will be required to provide a negative COVID test prior to travel and entry to the resort 

  • Random temperature checks may be conducted

  • Hand sanitizer and PPE will be widely available 

  • Rapid testing is currently immediately available on-site

  • The resort currently has an enhanced 24-hour medical staff

  • The resort  currently has a block of rooms designated for isolation for those that have symptoms of COVID-19. The resort will also provide a free room past your stay if you need to quarantine.

  • Attendees may be required to sign an accountability pledge

  • Please note that the schedule, events, and presenter lineup could change at any time. We will not pressure presenters to attend if they do not feel safe.

Survey:

 

BeachBind sent a COVID survey that concluded on August 15. We had 97 responses out of about 130 attendees, which is fantastic! Here is what we learned:

​​97% of those who responded indicated that they are or will be vaccinated for BeachBind (all but three, two of whom cannot receive a vaccine for medical reasons).

 

That is encouraging!  Regarding event protocol preferences, please check your attendee email for the results! 

 

Here is what we are doing:

  • We are considering all options. In doing so we are:

    • Reviewing attendee survey feedback (which as you can guess includes some strong opinions that range from both extremes)

    • Consulting with physicians

    • Monitoring government rules and the situation at the resort and in Jamaica.

  • Over the next two  to three weeks we will review the current resort protocol and Jamaican Health Ministry rules and determine if BeachBind should include any rules or protocols beyond what is mandated by the resort and Health Ministry.

  • We plan to announce the event COVID protocols on September 15th so that they are most relevant for the event given the then-current situation. In determining any protocols that we will mandate, we will:

    • Consider the safety of our guests, the resort staff, and other resort guests above everything else;

    • Try to balance the differing needs and wants of our attendees;

    • Try not to mandate anything beyond necessary;

    • Consider ethical factors;

    • Consider the effect of the Jamaican and resort safety protocols (e.g. the locked-down resort corridor, mandatory testing to fly to Jamaica, approved taxi/bus services, strict resort staff testing, temperature checks, mask rules; and the mostly outdoor nature of the event and resort, and,

    • Consider (but not rely on) the expected/estimated vaccination rate of our guests based on the survey results

  • We expect that you might see some or all of the of the following:

    • More outdoor workshops

    • Mask mandates for indoor events

    • Use of wristbands to indicate social distancing preferences 

    • Random temperature checks at BB events

    • A required accountability pledge at check-in

    • Other possible protocols may be considered

  • Mandatory Vaccinations?

    • We know that there are strong feelings on this issue on both extremes. While many of you would support mandatory vaccinations, others are highly opposed to it. We appreciate your keeping an open mind.  There are many factors here. Please try to be understanding of whatever difficult decision we make.

    • It is possible that Jamaica or the resort will change their rules to require mandatory vaccinations prior to our trip. Knowing this, you should plan accordingly, and we highly recommend that every attendee get vaccinated if they are able. This will not only help keep everyone safe and limit the chance of spread within Jamaica, it also will make it less likely that you will test positive prior to travel home, requiring a mandatory quarantine.

    • We are currently aware that a small number of guests cannot get vaccines for medical reasons. We hope that if there is a government mandate it would include reasonable exceptions for such situations, but that is out of our control.

    • At this time, no decision has been made on whether BeachBind will mandate vaccines if the resort or government does not; however, it is not likely that BeachBind will do so unless things get progressively worse. Some reasons for this include: 1) given what appears to be a high vaccination rate within our group, it may be largely unnecessary; 2) the strict government and resort protocol already in place (see below); 3) the mostly outdoor nature of the event; and 4) the nonrefundable aspect of this trip (the hotel will not issue refunds and a vaccine mandate will put certain individuals in a difficult situation).

 

Current COVID Travel Protocols (subject to change):

 

  • 3-Day Pre-Flight Testing:  As of now, the testing requirement is unchanged; you are still required to test 3 days before you arrive in Jamaica and 3 days before you depart (for US and Canadian Travelers - check government's rules if you are traveling from elsewhere). There is no provision for those that are vaccinated -everyone must test and have documented proof of a negative result. Please visit www.visitJamaica.com for Jamaican entry and COVID testing information.

  • United States is currently requiring either a negative test within 3 days prior to travel back to the US or proof of COVID infection and recovery to travel to the United States. Rapid tests are acceptable. 

  • Canadian restrictions require a negative PCR result before boarding their flight back to Canada.

  • Tests are available at the resort. As of August 31, 2021, the resort will be charging $20 per rapid antigen test and $90 per PCR test.

  • The biggest concern for most of you is what happens if you test positive in Jamaica before returning home:

    • If a guest’s test results are positive, Hedonism II will provide complimentary quarantine accommodations at the resort until you are cleared to travel. You will need to remain in quarantine and re-test until you get a negative result or are cleared for travel by the Ministry of Health. You can re-test as frequently as you want. We expect such quarantine periods to be anywhere from 5-14 nights.

    • There is no cost to you for the accommodation at Hedonism while you are in quarantine, and you will get food and drinks delivered to your room, but you will be required to remain in the quarantine block for the duration of this process. There is a small outdoor area outside the quarantine rooms that you can use, but you will not be allowed to use any other resort areas or facilities.

 

COVID Safety Measures in Jamaica and at the Resort:

 

Jamaica's Safety Measures include:

  • 3-day Mandatory testing to board a flight

  • Health screening upon entry to Jamaica

  • Use of only COVID approved, inspected, insured and licensed transportation companies to and from the resort. 

  • Travel Authorization that restricts travel within Jamaica

  • The heavily locked-down and high protocol resort area called the "resilient corridor" that was able to successfully maintain zero reported cases in 2020. The Health Ministry carefully enforces safety rules, including enforcement of resort obligations and restricted travel in and out of the resilient corridor area.

The resort’s ongoing enhanced health and safety procedures and preventative measures, include (subject to change):

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES:

  • Enforcement of mandated social distancing in all common areas, including the lobby, restaurants, bars, and pools.

  • Temperature checks using infrared sensors.

  • Buffet will no longer allow self-service; kitchen staff will happily prepare plates while wearing PPE.

  • Masks may be required to be worn everywhere in the resort (except in the pool/beach

  • Random temperature checks may  be conducted

  • Hand sanitizer and PPE will be widely available

  • Rapid testing is currently immediately available on-site

  • The resort currently has an enhanced 24-hour medical staff

 

CONSTANT SANITATION:

  • Continuous and effective disinfection of in room surfaces and air conditioners.

  • Frequent sanitizing of high contact areas.

  • Detailed disinfection of luggage at time of arrival.

 

PROTECTION SERVICES & MATERIALS:

  • Personal protection equipment supplies for each guest. Masks are mandatory per the Jamaican Government.

  • Anti-bacterial gel stations in all areas throughout the resort and staff offering anti-bacterial gel to guests on a regular basis.

  • Upgrade of on-property medical team including specially trained nurses in the detection and care of potential COVID-19 cases.

  • 24-hour medical service.

 

ADDITIONAL STAFF PROTOCOLS:

  • Continuous training about preventative measures and disinfection processes for rooms and common areas.

  • The use of mandatory facemasks and personal protection equipment.

  • Guaranteed use of correct hand washing techniques.

  • Regular temperature checks.

 

GET VACCINATED & ISOLATE PRIOR TO TRAVEL & TESTING!
 

We hope that our upcoming trip will be COVID-free, but as you know there is always the possibility of contracting COVID in Jamaica or anywhere else - whether you are vaccinated or not. Getting vaccinated is the best way to minimize your chances of becoming sick and testing positive, so we very strongly urge any unvaccinated attendees to get vaccinated before traveling.

 

We also strongly recommend that, vaccinated or not, you isolate yourself as best as possible in the days preceding your travel to Jamaica, especially those 10-14 days before your test and departure.

 

The Resort Cancellation Waiver is Back.

 

There is some good news for those of you that registered after May 31:  Hedonism has just reinstated their Cancel-for-any-reason waiver which was discontinued at the end of this past May. If you don't have the waiver, you can now add it. The new waiver has increased in price to $50 per person. You will be able to use that credit for one year from your original travel dates (again, no refunds, just credit), but there are now no extensions and you cannot re-buy the waiver, so once you move your funds to a new trip, that is it. Also as always, the waiver does not cover your full payment, only the per-night amounts listed here: https://www.beachbind.com/cancel-waiver.

 

Feel Free to Reach Out:

 

If you would like to discuss your thoughts and feelings directly with us, or if you are concerned about your ability to attend, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.