From June 26 this year, Corendon will offer ‘corona-free’ holidays to a limited number of destinations. From that date, Corendon customers will be tested for the coronavirus just before their flight, at a test location near Amsterdam airport Schiphol. Afterwards, Corendon ensures that holidaymakers do not come into contact with possible sources of contamination during the journey to their holiday hotel. This applies to the transfer to the airport, check-in, the flight and the transfer to the all-inclusive hotel. In their hotel, guests can then enjoy their holiday without worrying about social distancing from other guests. The only condition is that they do not leave their hotel during their stay because the safety of the hotel guests can no longer be guaranteed.
The tour operator has set up a test street in its Corendon City hotel in Amsterdam in recent weeks. Hundreds of Corendon employees volunteered last weekend for a rapid test to demonstrate the presence of antibodies to COVID-19. Experienced medical teams perform the tests and the results are assessed by qualified doctors. If this trial is successful, everyone will be able to make a reservation from Wednesday 13 May to undergo this test. This test is not the same as the test that will soon be offered to holidaymakers. The antibody test shows whether people have been in contact with the coronavirus and have therefore developed a certain immunity; the corona test that will soon be offered to holidaymakers shows the presence of the virus itself.
Steven van der Heijden, CEO Corendon: “A holiday where you have to keep 1.5 metres apart or wear mouth masks is not a holiday for us. We want our customers to be able to move freely during their holiday and we will take care of that from 26 June. Both during the flight and at the hotel, our guests can relax and be pampered as much as under normal circumstances. The only restriction is that guests cannot leave the resort because we can no longer guarantee their safety. Experience has shown, however, that many customers often do not leave the resort during their holidays, because it offers everything; both culinary and in the field of animation. We, therefore, assume that the majority of our holidaymakers would like to do this again to be able to celebrate a carefree holiday again.”
One test, protected for a vacation
Holidaymakers will soon be tested at the Corendon Village Hotel, near Schiphol, shortly before the flight’s departure. After that, Corendon ensures that holidaymakers stay in a protective environment as much as possible. This means that the bus drivers of the transfer to Schiphol, pilots and cabin crew of Corendon Dutch Airlines and the employees of the hotel are also regularly tested for corona. During the flight, normal service can also be provided and holidaymakers can travel without a mask. Nor do they need to be kept 1.5 metres away from each other. The costs for the test are approximately € 50 per person.
Turkey as the first destination
Corendon can only offer the “corona-free” holidays if it has control over the entire trip. This means that for the time being it is only possible for holidays in which you fly with your own airline and where you stay in your own Corendon hotels. That is why the first destination will be Antalya on the Turkish Riviera, where the travel organisation owns several all-inclusive hotels.
In the coming weeks, consultations will be held with the authorities in other destinations in order to be able to offer holidays there as well. Examples include Ibiza and Curaçao, where Corendon also has its own resorts. In the case of Curaçao, consultations will be held with KLM, which performs the flights. Sardinia and Sicily are also possible candidates for this programme and various other destinations have also expressed an interest in restarting tourism in this way.
Corendon will start with flights from Schiphol and look at the possibilities to offer it later from other airports, such as Brussels. As soon as all details are known, Corendon will contact its customers to offer them this “corona-free” holiday. A “corona-free” holiday is not expected to be possible for all booked trips. Corendon analyses the possibilities for these holidays and will contact these customers at a later time.
Experience with test street
From June 26, Corendon will provide sufficient scientifically researched and reliable corona rapid tests to test all its customers. The tests are conducted by experienced medical teams led by qualified doctors in a professionally set-up test location where a strict 1.5-metre protocol is used. Corendon is currently gaining experience with this so-called test street. The Corendon City hotel in Amsterdam is temporarily used as a test location.
Corendon employees can have themselves tested today and tomorrow for the presence of antibodies against COVID-19. The test will then also be offered commercially to other interested parties. This is a different test than the corona test that will soon be used for holidaymakers. But in this way, Corendon wants to gain experience with the entire test process and the logistics involved. If the test is successful, everyone can register for this quick test for antibodies from Wednesday 13 May for a fee of € 69 and make an appointment via corendonsneltest.nl.
Safety before everything
Much remains to be arranged to be able to offer these “corona-free” holidays from 26 June. If there is any doubt about the safety of the holidaymakers, Corendon will not hesitate to delay the start of the programme. It is very important to Corendon to still be able to serve the largest possible number of hundreds of thousands of customers who had been looking forward to a carefree sun holiday. But of course, the health and safety of the holidaymaker always come first.
Monday, May 11, 2020