This Mexico Resort Collection is Smell-Testing for COVID-19

Velas Resorts in Mexico—which has properties in Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Maya and Riviera Nayarit—has just implemented a fascinating new COVID-19 screening measure for guests and staff: the smell test.

The new protocol proceeds from the latest science coming out of King’s College London, which discovered that there are six distinct “types” of the COVID-19 virus, each of which causes its own particular set of symptoms. Although this could potentially complicate tracing and testing efforts, there is one common denominator that’s consistent across all six types: loss of smell.

Velas Resorts, therefore, came up with a simple-but-innovative new safety precaution that targets this unifying symptom by testing travelers’ sense of smell. Before they can enter the resort compound, guests and staff alike will be expected to participate in this test, in which they’re asked to smell a sachet (a small, scented pouch) and accurately identify its particular odor. The sachets are infused with three very distinct scents: citrus, coffee or garlic.

Requiring this simple, non-invasive sniff test will reveal whether individuals exhibit any smell-sensory loss and may be infected with the virus. This practice is being implemented in addition to the frequent health and temperature screenings already in place for both guests and resort staff members.

Velas Resorts is also continuing its comprehensive ‘Stay Safe with Velas Program’ of enhanced health and safety protocols to protect its guests and employees amid ongoing COVID-19 conditions.

The resort collection has installed sanitizing mats and booths, and touchless hand-sanitizing dispensers throughout its properties. It has also heightened its cleaning and sanitation procedures, using EPA-approved chemicals and UV light, and provided staff with special training for carrying out new protocols.

To cut down on interpersonal interactions, Velas has also launched new features on the Velas Resort mobile app, offering a concierge chat function, restaurant an spa menus, pre-registration for fitness classes and other resort activities, and more.

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