NASSAU, BAHAMAS — When Atlantis Paradise Island reopens sometime before the end of the year, the resort will operate under a new environment-controlled regime, known as the “Atlantis bubble”.
In internal minutes from a meeting today obtained by Eyewitness News, Atlantis President Audrey Oswell advised the team there was not an announcement of the exact opening date of the resort.
However, she said Atlantis will open before the end of the year.
Eyewitness News reported today that the resort’s website shows available bookings as of December 1, 2020.
“Reopening does not get us to the end of this, but it’s a start to getting back up and running,” according to the minutes from the meeting, quoting Oswell.
“We will open in phases with limited portions of the entire resort to reopen in Phase 1.
“As business demands grow, we will open more and more of the resort offerings and bring employees back to work”
It continued: “We are working closely with the government and we have the same goal to open Atlantis as quickly as possible. We understand how important we are to the country and want to open fiscally responsibly and safe (sic).”
According to the minutes, Atlantis will work with airport, government, and health officials to roll out its vacation in place concept for the property.
It was pointed out during the meeting that travelers must obtain a negative RT PCR COVID-19 test within five days of arrival, and upon arrival will be required to take a rapid test at the airport before being allowed to “come to the Atlantis bubble”.
According to the minutes, guests will be required to take a second test on the fifth day and ninth day of their vacation stay in The Bahamas if their time in the country permits.
Guests are expected to absorb the cost of rapid antigen testing during their stay.
Tourism officials had previously announced a soft tourism reopening was set for today with new travel measures expected to be implemented on November 1, including the removal of the travel quarantine.
Travelers will also be required to submit to the rapid antigen test upon arrival as of November 1.
Additionally, Oswell reportedly advised that employees will be tested for the virus weekly for the first four to six weeks to protect the bubble.
Employees who refuse to be tested with not be permitted to return to the property, according to the minutes.
The bubble concept is not an unfamiliar one.
The NBA Bubble or Disney Bubble was an isolation zone created by the NBA and facilitated at Walt Disney World.
The strict protocols and limited interaction across zones were intended to create a controlled environment for teams competing in the NBA playoffs.
Teams invited into the bubble had to quarantine and test multiple times prior to entering and underwent regular tests during their stay.
Employees were also tested regularly and had strict guidelines to maintain the health integrity of the bubble.
The meeting also touched on redundancy concerns, according to the minutes.
“We are within the confines of the government emergency order,” read the minutes.
“We will reopen as quickly as… possible and won’t declare any employee redundant until we know the business demands.
“We would prefer to be in a position to bring employees back to work than hiring new people and process the training and onboarding.”
Additionally, the minutes suggest payments for Paradise Island employees will go out this week for salaried employees as well as health and welfare payments.
It said for NIB payments, the resort had not been funded for the pay period from NIB and this was not an Atlantis hold up, but rather NIB.
The minutes advised that the weekly payments will be $100 maximum.
When contacted, Atlantis’ Public Relations Department Director Katie Longley declined to comment.