Resorts and destinations try guest-friendly ways to test for Covid

Jeri Clausing
Jeri Clausing

As the reliability and availability of Covid-19 testing remains erratic, some travel entities are experimenting with unique -- and more guest-friendly ways than nasal swabs -- to determine if visitors are carrying the virus.

新沙巴体育In Mexico, for instance, in a twist that seems perfectly suited to the luxury experience, Velas Resorts is asking arriving guests and staff to sniff scented sachets to determine if they have lost their sense of smell, which is a common and early symptom of the virus.

新沙巴体育In announcing its smell tests, Velas Resorts pointed to a recent study by King's College London that found that there are six types of Covid-19, each distinguished by a particular set of symptoms. Loss of smell was consistent across all.

So in addition to frequent health and temperature checks, Velas said that before entering Velas Resorts compounds, guests are asked to sniff a small perfumed cloth pouch and identify whether it is garlic, coffee or citrus scented.

Resort staff will take the smell test every day before starting work, the company said.

新沙巴体育Many destinations are requiring that tests be administered anywhere from three to 10 days before arrival, a requirement advisors say is proving difficult to meet.

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The Cayman Islands, home to luxury resorts like the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, plans to require visitors to use an inconspicuous wearable device新沙巴体育 during their stay on that will track vital symptoms like temperature (guests still have to submit proof of a negative test before arrival, though).

In another twist on Covid-19 testing, the Ministry of the Interior for the United Arab Emirates said it is using dogs across UAE  airports to do quick and simple smell tests on arriving passengers.

Passengers run a swab under their arm, and it is then placed in a container that specially trained dogs then sniff.

In a statement, the ministry said there is no contact between passengers and the dogs, which "in seconds can determine the possibility of [whether that] person is infected or not."

新沙巴体育The ministry's release did not address the accuracy of tests, although media reports indicate some early studies on Covid-19 sniffing dogs have produced accuracy rates above 90%.

Some caution that the dogs require highly specialized training. But in this strange new world, it seems worth exploring any and all experiments that might help reduce the spread of the virus while easing the resumption of travel.


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