Major Hotel Chains Offering Free Covid Testing For International Guests

Written by Karly Trimble

Hyatt and Marriott prove to be industry leaders through the pandemic

Hyatt and Marriott are introducing cost-free COVID-19 tests at on-property testing sites in order to maintain safety protocol and slow the spread of the virus.

The initiative by hotels follows state, country, and airline-mandated requirements for negative COVID-19 PCR and/or antigen tests within 72 hours of traveling. While many travelers have secure access to testing locations in their home country, accessing affordable healthcare while traveling may present as an obstacle for travelers in search of a COVID-19 test prior to their return home. By introducing new on-site testing at hotels and resorts, travelers have reliable access to getting tested, ultimately making COVID-safe travel much easier.

Hyatt announced plans to implement on-property testing at their international hotel locations earlier this year, and Marriott announced plans in mid-December 2020.

“We are leading with safety first and wellbeing always with creative, innovative solutions and look forward to expanding testing options to more Hyatt guests and hotels across the Americas and globally in the near future,” Hyatt Chief Commercial Officer Mark Vondrasek said in a Hyatt press release.

According to the Hyatt press release, tests are available for up to two registered guests per room at 19 participating resorts across Mexico, Costa Rica, the Caribbean, and South America through May 31. Guests will receive only one complimentary test but can schedule additional tests for an extra fee.

Our experience with the test

Although Hyatt and Marriott have proven to be industry leaders throughout the pandemic, many hotel chains have followed suit with their testing protocol. The Leading Hotels of the World has implemented a similar policy across its properties. We recently stayed at their Nobu Hotel Los Cabos location and were able to experience this perk ourselves.

In order to receive our complimentary tests before heading back to the U.S., we hopped on a golf cart to the nearby Hard Rock Hotel. Upon arriving at the site, we were able to bypass the line and get tested via PCR nasal swab immediately. Within a few minutes, we received our negative results and were brought back to the property. The entire process was seamless and only took a few extra minutes out of our day.

What does this mean for the travel industry?

In 2020, the travel industry lost $492 billion dollars compared to 2019, which shows a decrease of 42% in annual earnings, according to a COVID-19 national findings outline by the U.S. Travel Association

Whether the implementation of on-site PCR and antigen testing at hotels across the United States and across the globe will directly stimulate travel is unknown, but the addition of PCR and antigen testing serves as a new amenity that reduces hassle in traveling now-a-days.

Despite increased safety-protocols and access to cost-free testing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reminds travelers that any type of travel “increases your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19.” 

The World Health Organization (WHO) advises travelers to “seek advice on the potential hazards in their chosen destinations and understand how best to protect their health and minimize the risk of acquiring disease.”

For more information on Marriott’s COVID testing initiative, click here or here. For more information on which Hyatt properties offer COVID testing, click here

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Written by Karly Trimble

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