I have just returned from spending two weeks at the Hilton La Romana in the Dominican Republic. The resort is breathtakingly beautiful and one of the best cared for places I have ever been and I will have a full review of my stay and the use of a large amount of Hilton points earned from a number of Hilton Amex cards.
One of the things that did bother me as we were about to depart was the COVID testing provided free of charge from the hotel. Unlike the NCL cruise I was on in September where there was on-site testing with rapid results the hotel took samples on-site then sent them out to a lab..
Here is where it got weird.
My first concern came in the form of a form letter under our hotel room door. It said, get this, that we were to test 2 days before our departure from the hotel.
Confused? Yeah, me too.
After all the United States government has decreed that travelers are to test 1 day before you fly home and provide a negative test. They do NOT say you can test 2 or more days before you fly. So how does the Hilton La Romana get around this?
The lab simply changes the date / time of your test.
Wait – what – really?
Now I was not going to stand for this so we scheduled and went for our test 1 day before our flight. Our tests were marked “expedite” and while our official sample was taken at 9:30 AM our test time, on the certificate, said 5:08PM (the hotel did ask for the flight date and departure time).
So they are simply making stuff up it seems.
I did ask someone at the hotel about this and was told logistically it was simply not possible to comply with the US regulations so they do it this way.
I also had paid, when we arrived, $29.99 per person for on-site insurance in case we tested positive to have our 10 days of quarantine covered by the hotel (all meals etc. included and brought to our room). During my conversation with the hotel person I asked just how many had tested positive the week before.
The answer – ONLY ONE!
Think on this for a moment. In the middle of exploding Omicron variant and almost as contagious Delta at a resort with 418 rooms on the family side connected to the adults only side with 356 rooms and an estimated 2000 guests at the resort the week before resulted in a positively rate around 0.0005!
Astonishing results (considering likely many guests were unvaccinated).
Now one of the reasons we went to this resort during the pandemic is outdoor dining. Almost everything was either outside or open air (no doors and wide open air flow). I get that with distancing and that much air it is much harder to get COVID. But there are three restaurants with indoor dining and they were packed each night.
This brings me to my question to you my dear readers – can the US really trust developing countries to provide accurate COVID tests before flight? Clearly the Hilton is providing altered testing info that the airport accepts. Once you are cleared to fly it is not like you ever have to provide anything again once you arrive in the US.
I mean what is the benefit of all of this at this point? Beyond that I personally think it is a major “FAIL” that the US does not exempt fully vaccinated folks from testing. If you did this, IMO, it would be a driving factor to get folks to get vaccinated to forego the ridiculousness of testing before returning home to the US.
Please let me know what you think of all of this in the comments section below*! – René
*AntiVax or false vaccination comments will not be allowed and will be removed. Get the shot folks!
Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.