The Royal Yacht Hotel has defended its role in hosting a private party that led to a spike in covid cases last week.
The hotel says that it followed all Government guidelines and it can’t understand why it has been singled out for attention.
On Thursday, the Government reported that it was aware of a cluster of cases that originated from a private event, which was later confirmed as the hotel. Hundreds of people subsequently had to isolate because they were considered a direct contact. The event was investigated but it is understood that the hotel did not break any Covid guidelines.
The hotel has now shared more details of the event and explained how it ran.
General Manager Alcino Vieira said: “The Royal Yacht is a long established local business which prides itself on providing excellent customer service.
“On Friday 20 November, the Royal Yacht hosted a single private dinner event for 20 guests. As with every event, all the relevant Government covid-related guidelines were strictly adhered to.
“The guests attending the event also followed all of the Government guidelines. A sanitising station and separate toilet facilities were made available. All staff wore masks and were mindful of social distancing. There were no bar or dance floor facilities in the room and only background music was played.
“On Sunday 22 November, two days later, one of the guests tested positive for covid-19. The Royal Yacht were able to provide all of the detailed contact data to the track and trace team, enabling them to make the necessary contacts as quickly as possible.
“Through the track and trace system, a staff member was also contacted, tested and went into self-isolation. This member of staff has since received two negative test results.
“The Royal Yacht consistently collects and maintains contact details regarding visiting guests and will always fully cooperate with the Track and Trace and Health teams whenever required to do so. The Royal Yacht strictly follows all current guidance and legislation and works closely with the relevant Government teams to ensure that we operate within all the required parameters.
“In this way, the hospitality industry continues to provide valuable information enabling the track and trace team to identify potential clusters and thereby helping to prevent any further spread within the community.
“We are aware of a number of other significant clusters that have occurred throughout November in both the hospitality and the non-hospitality sectors, with this in mind we find it difficult to understand why the Royal Yacht has been singled out by some members of the press.
“We are concerned that the reaction to this particular cluster, and the vilification of certain venues and individuals in the media and on social media may deter others from taking the correct course of action and thereby undermining the viability and the effectiveness of the systems in place.
“While there may be a number of persons isolating, it is reassuring to know that the systems in place are effective.
“The Royal Yacht will continue to strive to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for all of our guests. We would like to thank all our dedicated team and our valued and loyal customers for their support at this difficult time.
“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the track and trace team for their efforts on a daily basis to control and assist in these situations.”
Deputy Chief Minister Lyndon Farnham is a consultant to the parent company of the hotel but has no responsibility for its day-to-day operation.
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