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No ‘definitive date’ for Atlantis reopening

Atlantis said yesterday it still does not have “a definitive date” for its reopening, noting that employees will stop receiving ex gratia payments as of tomorrow.

The resort is the largest private employer in the country.

“During the closure period, we have done everything possible to ease your concerns,” Atlantis said in an email to employees.

“As previously communicated, the ex gratia payment that you have been receiving will come to an end on May 31st.

“We understand this may create additional hardship for you and your families. And you can be confident that we are exploring all avenues to lessen your burden.”

It said employee medical benefits coverage have been extended through July 31 “at which time we will evaluate our options and communicate further”.

The resort, like many other hotels in The Bahamas, closed in March after the governor general declared a state of emergency and the prime minister ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government has since closed The Bahamas’ borders to visitors.

Last month, Atlantis President Audrey Oswell said the resort was targeting June 15 for its phased reopening.

However, in the email, which was dated May 29, 2020, Atlantis said, “As we continue to navigate the uncharted waters of the COVID-19 pandemic, uncertainty abounds. When we first closed the resort in March, we were hopeful that we would be able to reopen quickly.

“However, given the severity of the pandemic, we now know that was not possible. Although we are moving closer to reopening, unfortunately, we are not able to announce a definitive date at this time.”

The resort said there are “many global and national uncertainties that hinder us from providing you with return to full operations”.

It assured employees that it is making “every effort” to return to normalcy “as soon as possible”.

“We pray for a rapid recovery to our business and wish you safety and good health as we work together through these challenges,” Atlantis said.

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis has said the government is eyeing July 1 for the reopening of The Bahamas’ borders.

 

 

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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