Traveling to Jamaica During COVID-19

As the Marketing Manager for Rockhouse and Skylark hotels, I have traveled to Jamaica from New York multiple times throughout COVID-19, and here I share with you my most recent experience.

Before You Go:

Before your trip to Jamaica, you will need to get tested for COVID-19 within three days of your flight (an antigen test from my nearby City MD works fine). Within five days of travel, you need to get the Jamaica Travel Authorization, which is like an online immigration form that gets almost immediate approval, in my experience. You will need both to check-in at the airport. Everything you need to process your authorization is at www.visitjamaica.com.

Airport & Flight:

When I arrived at the airport, it was not as empty as I expected or as busy as I remember before the pandemic. Everyone was required to wear a mask, and social distancing markers were present throughout. The only time I could remove my mask was when going through security so that TSA could verify my identity and while eating or drinking at my gate. Luckily, I brought snacks as the lines were reasonably crowded at the food shops. I chose JetBlue as it is one of the airlines that has committed to blocking middle seats. I decided to book a seat at the front of the plane, which allowed me to board last and deplane first. During my flight, passengers and the flight crew wore face masks the entire time, except when eating or drinking. The flight crew handed out hand wipes, and snacks came in a zip-lock bag.

Arriving in Jamaica:

Upon landing in Jamaica, someone from the local airport authority boarded our flight and announced what to expect after deplaning, and we exited the aircraft row by row. To minimize the time in the airport, I booked Club Mobay, a VIP service that expedites processing through customs and immigration. One of their lovely representatives met me as I exited the plane and walked me through the newly implemented safety protocols. There were a couple of new checkpoints with hand sanitizer and documentation checks, and additional health screening if needed. Overall the lines were well spaced, mask-wearing was well enforced, and it felt like quite a safe process. I cleared customs, and my Club Mobay representative led me to the lounge, where I could grab a snack, drink, and some Wi-Fi before the transfer to Negril.

Getting to Rockhouse:

I booked my airport shuttle with Kenny Tours, the company that Rockhouse recommends. A Kenny Tours representative met me at their desk in the arrivals lobby, and Luke, my driver, informed me that he would be sanitizing my luggage and that drivers and passengers are required to wear a mask at all times. He offered me hand sanitizer and kept the windows open for fresh air circulation for the entire scenic ride to Negril. As I sipped on my cold red stripe and caught up on Jamaican news with him, he played a vibesy Jamaican playlist by our Skylark Partner and DJ Max Glazer. My ride was enjoyable and, more importantly, safe and comfortable.

Arriving at Rockhouse:

Upon arriving at Rockhouse, I had a temperature check and sanitized my hands before approaching the front desk. Next, a front desk associate processed my check-in. At the check-in area, there were social distancing markers and signs reminding guests to “Wear a Mask”, “Wash Your Hands”, and “Maintain 6 Feet of Social Distance”. There is also an option for “contact-less” check-in online. The front desk collected my contact info and reached out via WhatsApp to inform me that should I need anything from housekeeping to room service or anything else during my stay, I could feel free to communicate with them via text. Once I got to my room, I noticed it had been sealed and dated with when it had been cleaned and sanitized. For more information on COVID-19 protocols at Rockhouse, check the video COVID-19 Safety.

Stay at Rockhouse:

When not in my room, private patio/balcony, the pool, or seated at my table dining at Rockhouse Restaurant or Pushcart, I was required to wear a face mask. It is also worth noting that the restaurants at Rockhouse close a little earlier now, with the island-wide night curfew. This curfew didn’t affect me as a guest, but it did mean that I had to be back on the property a little earlier as there aren’t taxis on the road after curfew. During my stay, I was able to indulge in a safe and lovely spa experience. Sheila, one of the Spa Managers, walked me through the limited menu and explained that my massage would take place at the open-air cliffside cabana and that I would have my temperature checked. My lovely therapist wore all the PPE, including a face mask, face shield, and protective apron, and I wore a mask while face up. I always find visiting Rockhouse an amazingly restorative experience, but the freedom of lying in the sun, snorkeling in the cove, jumping from the cliffs, and just being outdoors all the time has never felt better. The staff followed the protocols very closely, and I felt much safer moving around than I do in New York. Sanitizer and hand wash stations are available throughout the hotel. Food and drinks are all served covered, social distancing is maintained, and all staff wears masks throughout the property. Most impressive is that they also do a great job of reminding other guests to observe the protocols closely.

Leaving Jamaica:

After four blissful nights at Rockhouse, it was time for me to go back home to NYC. Due to recently updated US regulations, returning visitors are required to have proof of a negative COVID-19 test with three days of boarding my flight back to the US. Rockhouse has made this easy and has a medical clinic visit the property three days a week to provide testing at $60 per person. I received an email within a few hours of the test confirming my negative status. If you are staying for a week or more, Rockhouse covers the cost of the Antigen Testing. Kenny Tours once again provided my transportation with the same safety protocols I experienced when picking me up from the airport. Once I arrived at the Sangster’s Montego Bay Airport, I noticed airport security monitoring how many people were entering and instructing everyone to sanitize their hands. At check-in for the airline, I had to show my negative COVID-19 test result. They temperature checked me before entering the security line, and I sanitized my hands, and observed the social distancing markers on the floor.

Experience in Jamaica:

My trip to Jamaica left me impressed with how everyone from the hotel, restaurant, spa, and airport went above and beyond to provide a safe, efficient and comfortable experience. For someone who has taken COVID-19 very seriously and has been quite conservative about traveling, I left Jamaica feeling confident in the safety protocols put in place to make my trip a safe one. And more importantly, I return home relaxed, rejuvenated, and ready for my next batch of zoom meetings!

BOOK YOUR DREAM GETAWAY TODAY

Situated directly on the white sands of Seven Mile Beach, Rockhouse Hotel & Spa has everything you need for the ultimate Jamaican getaway. Whether you would like to visit the waterfalls in Negril, Jamaica, or spend the day at our on-site spa, our resort makes you feel local on arrival by giving you an instant insider experience. Browse our accommodations to decide which is the best for you, then book your stay. We look forward to seeing you on the island!

BOOK YOUR DREAM GETAWAY TODAY

Situated directly on the white sands of Seven Mile Beach, Rockhouse Hotel & Spa has everything you need for the ultimate Jamaican getaway. Whether you would like to visit the waterfalls in Negril, Jamaica, or spend the day at our on-site spa, our resort makes you feel local on arrival by giving you an instant insider experience. Browse our accommodations to decide which is the best for you, then book your stay. We look forward to seeing you on the island!