COVID INFORMATION HUB
Don’t Ruin Your Concation!
Don’t want to miss your trip or spend your trip in isolation?
Don’t want to get stuck in Jamaica after everyone else leaves?
It’s been a long time coming, and you deserve this vacation! But don’t forget that you need a negative COVID test 3 days before you leave, as well as within 3 days of returning home.
If you test positive while in Jamaica, you could get stuck there for days or even two weeks. If you get more severe COVID symptoms, you will be transferred to a Jamaican healthcare facility, but not likely a hospital.
5 things you can do to help prevent COVID-snags!
1. Get vaccinated (or a booster). It's not too late! Even the first dose of two will significantly decrease your risks, or you can get a one-and-done shot. If you have already been vaccinated but it's been a while, a booster shot is recommended. Please check with your doctor if you have any concerns about which vaccine is right for you.
2. Acquire Travel Health Insurance! Hospitals in Jamaica are at max capacity with COVID patients. If you catch COVID (or are injured), you may need hospitalization. Med flights typically cost $30,000 or more while travel health insurance typically costs around $15-$50.
If you get hurt or sick, including with severe COVID symptoms, you may need a medical evacuation flight.
*** BeachBind strongly recommends purchasing private health travel insurance with medical evacuation coverage***
Read your actual policy! Please ensure the policy covers COVID-19 and does not exclude coverage in Jamaica or travel to a country against a government travel warning/advisory. Note that the current CDC/State Department alert level for Jamaica is level 4.
Tom’s Trips and BeachBind suggest looking into Travel Safe, (but please use care to evaluate the plans that are best for you). Note that TravelSafe has a less-expensive medical only plan that includes medical care and medical evacuation. The medical plan does not have the other perks of travel insurance like cancellation coverage.
We recommend against using Travel Guard, Allainz, or Geo Blue because they may exclude COVID for Jamaica due to current CDC travel advisories.
3. “Self Isolate” for two weeks before your flight. Consider eating in, avoiding large gatherings, and skipping indoor activities that could more easily put you in contact with the virus.
4. Mask Up! Dig out the mask again and start wearing it when you are in close quarters with others outside your home to decrease the chances of exposure. Consider wearing an N95 or KN95 while traveling.
5. Know your risk profile, and stick with it. Regardless of vaccination status, please mind your personal space and respect a 6 foot bubble for other attendees. Classes may not allow ideal spacing, and it is up to you to make a personal choice on whether to attend up close or watch from further away. Use a "pod" if needed to reduce your chance of exposure.
Testing Alert! -HAVE A PLAN!-
Testing sites are starting to become overbooked again, making scheduling your tests more challenging. Some are booked for weeks out. We therefore recommend that you schedule your tests immediately.
One strategy to consider is to schedule two tests, one three days out and one the day before you leave with the second test being a rapid antigen test. The second test could be useful in case:
1) you don't get your results back
2) the first test is a false positive; or
3) you miss your flight or it is delayed - if that occurs your first test will be more than three days out!
If you only get one test, consider getting your COVID test 1 or 2 days before travel.
Note: The Jamaica accepts these 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 (including rapid)
For those trying to find a test site, here is a resource form the US Department Of Health and Human services website: https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/community-based-testing-sites/index.html#oh
CDC Recommendations For After Travel
BeachBind recommends that upon return, you take the following additional precautions:
If you are vaccinated:
Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel.
Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements after travel.
If you are not vaccinated:
Get tested 3-5 days upon return home;
Self-Quarantine for at least 7 days, even if your COVID test is negative, or 10 days if you do not get tested;
Avoid being around people who at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not
Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and get tested if you develop symptoms;
Follow all state, local, and relevant institutional recommendations or requirements.
COVID and Travel FAQ’s
Do I need a vaccine if I have had COVID?
Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 because research has not yet shown how long you are protected from getting COVID-19 again after you recover from COVID-19. In addition, evidence is emerging that people get better protection by being fully vaccinated. Vaccination helps protect you even if you’ve already had COVID-19. (source: CDC)
If you are vaccinated you have a lower chance of getting sick or severely sick while in Jamaica, which means the difference between recovering in a free hotel room at the resort or a Jamaican healthcare facility.
BeachBind highly recommends that everyone that is able to obtain a vaccine do so.
Will Vaccines work with the Delta variant?
Vaccines continue to reduce a person’s risk of contracting the virus that causes COVID-19, including the Delta variant. Vaccines continue to be highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death, including against this variant. Fully vaccinated people with breakthrough infections from this variant appear to be infectious for a shorter period. (Source: CDC)
What will happen if I test positive for COVID while in Jamaica?
If you test positive, Hedonism II will provide complimentary quarantine accommodations at the resort until you re-test. Quarantine periods are typically 5-14 nights. While you are in quarantine, the resort will deliver meals to your room, but you will be required to remain in the quarantine until you test negative. 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. Should you develop more severe symptoms, you will be transferred to a medical facility. Since the hospitals are currently over-capacity, we highly recommend health travel insurance with medical flight evacuation so that you can be transferred to a hospital near your home if needed.
Does the resort have medical staff on-site?
Yes. There are currently 24/7 nurses trained in COVID care located at the resort. The resort also has physicians on call. Please remember that your health insurance won’t likely cover Jamaican medical care, so please obtain travel health insurance.
What are the current travel requirements for Jamaica?
You can view the most updated requirements here. Jamaica requires a negative COVID test (PCR, RNA, or Antigen test, including a rapid test) within three days before you travel, as well as a travel authorization. The USA and Canada currently require a negative test to return. Tests are available at the resort for a cost of $20 per rapid antigen test and $90 per PCR test. See Travel Requirements for more information.
What happens if I cannot go or cancel my trip? Can I get a refund?
The resort does not offer refunds for any reason. If you purchased the resort’s “cancel for any reason waiver” you will have a credit for a portion of your registration cost that can be applied to BeachBind (April 30-May 10), Kinky Caribbean (September 24-October 1), or other resort travel in 2022 (good for one year from your travel dates). You can find complete details here: https://www.beachbind.com/cancel-waiver.
I saw that the CDC has Jamaica at a level three or level 4 “do not travel” advisory. Does that affect our trip?
The CDC almost always has Jamaica at a level 3 or 4, even outside of COVID times due to crime rates in certain parts of the country. The resort is not near any of the areas listed on the CDC's website as to be avoided, and while one should always remain vigilant when traveling internationally, the crime in Jamaica typically does not affect tourism or our event. We are also aware of the COVID rates in Jamaica and have been providing updated information about our COVID policies and procedures on our website, Discord server, and via our BeachBind newsletters.
The resort corridor has much lower COVID rates and much higher sanitation standards and COVID protocols than areas outside of it, and it is also a quarantine zone for tourists upon arrival, so they are generally not venturing into other areas of the country and exposing themselves to the virus. Please note that The Hedonism II resort will remain open and all of our presenters will still be attending, so the event is proceeding as planned but with added COVID resort protocols and event protocols. If you have any specific concerns about the CDC's announcement, we can address them via Discord or email.
Will Everyone Be Vaccinated? Will Vaccines Be Required?
All presenters and staff will be vaccinated (see BeachBind Protocols page for further information and exceptions). Regarding attendees, BeachBind sent a COVID survey that concluded on August 15 with 97 responses out of about 120 attendees going. 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!
We know that there are strong feelings on this issue on both extremes of the vaccination issue. 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 this issues.
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 and/or an extended stay.
We are aware, however, that a number of guests cannot get vaccines for medical reasons or due to unavailability in their hometown. BeachBind 2021 will not mandate vaccinations at the last minute for the September event, but future BeachBind events may do so. Some factors that influenced our decision to not mandate vaccines for September include: 1) given what appears to be a high vaccination rate within our group, it may be largely unnecessary or duplicative; 2) the strict government, resort, and event protocol already in place; 3) the outdoor and open air nature of the resort and event; 4) the mandatory testing and mask requirements, and 5) the nonrefundable aspect of this trip (the hotel will not issue refunds and a vaccine mandate will put certain individuals in an unfair and impossible situation).