SUNBIZ

Properties Can Request Local Guests To Provide Proof Of COVID Test: Lockington

“The more information you provide to your guests from reservation confirmation, and check-in to check out - the more informed and likely to be compliant your guests will be (as opposed to telling MOH and the airlines that no one told them).”
04 Jan 2022 12:10
Properties Can Request Local Guests To Provide Proof Of COVID Test: Lockington
Fantasha Lockington.

The Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association has recommended that hotel operators can consider requiring local guests to provide proof of a negative Rapid Antigen Test (RAT).

This was one of the highlights in chief executive officer Fantasha Lockington’s announcement titled FHTA Recap of Key Reminders & Changes in the last month issued yesterday.

It comes as community cases increase and following discussions with the Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong.

Mrs Lockington said: “They (local guest) can bring their own test, so they test at the hotel and confirm their results or choose to have the test at check-in and have this charged.”

 

Testing protocol

Another highlight was on hotel testing protocol.

“When checking guests out – please confirm with them that they have their re-entry test results with them,” she said.

“If they do not, check with the lab you deal with or ensure your guests are aware which lab they must check with, and that a positive result will mean that they will require 10 days isolation in a hotel.

“Provide notice to this effect so that departing guests are aware. Island resorts especially must ensure departing guests are aware of this. Your guests cannot check-in for departing flights while awaiting their results.

“It may also be difficult to get a booking at an airport or other hotel once a guest has tested positive due to limited inventory and higher occupancy.

“The more information you provide to your guests from reservation confirmation, and check-in to check out – the more informed and likely to be compliant your guests will be (as opposed to telling MOH and the airlines that no one told them).”

hotel testing protocols

  • Any test results provided to guests for their departure must contain specific details of their test (see template provided in the protocols), including the testing lab, test kit type, date, etc. Otherwise, it will not be accepted by the airline or country the guest is departing to.
  • MOH is NOT required to check on your isolating guests if they are asymptomatic or do not need medical assistance. MOH will only be required if you need specific assistance in managing guests or they are symptomatic and therefore the situation needs further escalation.
  • Follow up testing during isolation is not required. Only re-entry tests are required.
  • If in doubt – check with your MOH/BHPU/hotel Viber group.
  • BHPU must provide the confirmation of approval to move positive guests to another hotel. Transfers of positive guests are only done by approved transfer providers confirmed by BHPU (currently Tewaka & Tour Managers).

Australian Re-Entry Requirements post-isolation

  • If a positive guest has completed their 10 days isolation & tests negative on their re-entry PCR or RAT – then nothing further is required.

  • If that guest has a higher than usual viral load, they may test positive again. They will therefore need to spend four more days in Fiji (they don’t have to be isolated but continue to be careful and wear masks), so that their Fit to Fly document that is done by BHPU can note the date of their first positive confirmation and confirm that it was 14 days since their initial positive test

Local guests

  • Negative guests can continue to check in and any positive guests will be required to return home for isolation.
    Bookings can be held for future dates, or a full cancellation be offered immediately – and these are options that should be confirmed with your guest.
  • We also recommend that local bookings are advised of this as a requirement on confirmation of the booking and well before they prepare to travel to the hotel or resort.

Managing Staff Sickness

  • Staff who call in sick should be monitored – be aware of what the sickness is and if confirmed as positive, then where they are isolating
  • Staff who test positive at the hotel must be isolated – either in separate staff quarters or in their homes
    Consider increasing staff Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) in situations where an increased number of staff in the same workspace have tested positive.
  • Reinforcing COVID safe hygiene practices with staff to practice in their homes & communities to reduce sickness and inability to work, as well as to reduce infections spreading at work cannot be overemphasized at this stage. Isolation requirements post positive confirmations mean they cannot work, and your workforce is negatively impacted. Make them accountable and more responsible so that our guest experience remains as positive as possible.

Managing Staff Sickness

  • Check mcttt.gov.fj

  • The 48-hour pre-departure negative test proof is now in place for all visitors to Fiji and is unlikely to change in the near term.

  • The 2nd-day testing (RAT) post-arrival into Fiji is still in place.

  • MOH agrees that following a negative test, guests can be released (check-out of the hotel) if they wish, but you must be able to confirm the proof of the test result. There should be some agreement between the hotel & guest on refunding for the 3rd day, not charging for it or imposing the cancellation policy – especially at check-in so there is a clear understanding of this process.

Insurance

  • When checking in your guests and advising their 2nd day RAT testing time, have your guest check their travel insurance in case they test positive and need to stay longer, to avoid issues on longer stay affordability later.

  • Some insurance companies deny access to cover so your guests may require assistance to contact family, friends, or their bank overseas.

Booster Shots

  • FHTA is awaiting confirmation that the next batch of vaccines due this month has arrived. We will then be contacting you to advise schedules for when they will be in your areas or at your property.

 

 

Feedbackranobab@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

 



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