This Friday, all-round nautical activities provider Aquamania received a Gold SafeSeal recognition of best practices in protecting its customers against COVID19.
SafeSeal is an immediately recognizable emblem for companies that are verified that they adhere to strict cleanliness and hygiene guidelines to counter the COVID19 pandemic. SafeSeal standards have been devised by medical and occupational safety professionals. The methods and practices have been used to grant acknowledgement of best COVID19 prevention practices to 1700 companies in the Caribbean. For St Maarten, the checklists per sector have been validated to the published governmental guidelines on stmaartengov.org, among other often more detailed parameters.
For manager Debby Lind-Steyn, passing the specialized exam came naturally. “We have been working with strict safety measures for quite a while now. Next to the more common barriers on our counters, markings on the floor, posters and availability of hand sanitizer, we as a nautical company of course implement extra features like constant cleaning of scuba gear, management of high traffic areas on boats, and a lowered number of visitors per voyage”. As the company provides dinners and snacks on board, special attention is paid to that too. For example, by offering personal portions, keeping food covered until served. “Last but not least, we check all employees daily for temperature”.
The road was not easy: “It has been a difficult time embracing opening up and trying to imagine all sorts of measures and possibilities within a large company with many different locations, trips and staff members.” What was advantageous was the average size of the vessels of Aquamania’s fleet; allowing for easy social distancing once at sea in the open air.
Lind-Steyn is supportive of the SafeSeal project, aimed at putting St. Maarten’s tourism industry’s great efforts on the map. “We praise St. Maarten for being brave and opening up to visitors and staying open despite much opposition and controversy. We have been resilient and lived up to our Irma image of #stmaartenstrong. Most guests are happy to return and enjoy the warm, fresh air, sea breezes and healthier outdoor lifestyle before facing a winter indoors at home, and possibly more lockdowns. We have shown we are ready to receive guests and conduct ourselves responsibly.”
By highlighting best practice companies, supporting organizations St. Maarten Tourism Bureau, the St Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association and occupational health company Medwork want to spread the word that Sint Maarten is making its best effort to be a safe destination. More information regarding SafeSeal can be found at www.shta.com/safeseal and travel information updates at www.stmaartenentry.com.