The “Fit For Life” business place in the south of the island is being accused of engaging in “a rip-off” of persons seeking a Rapid Test for Covid-19.
THE NEW TODAY was told that a hotelier called the business for a Rapid Test to be done for his wife to travel to the United States on Saturday and was told that the cost was $150.00 but when they showed up in person at the office they were asked to pay $300.00 for the test.
“I refused to pay it,” said the hotelier who runs a small property outside of the city.
He said he was about to walk out of “Fit For Life” but was eventually told that they will do the test for $150.00.
According to the businessman, he met other people who came to do the Covid-19 Rapid Test there and they had a similar story of being told on the phone that the cost was $150.00 and when they arrived the price was suddenly doubled.
He said “Fit For Life” is seemingly charging persons who are staying at a government-approved quarantine facility EC$150.00 for the Rapid Test but charging all others $300.00 for the same test.
“If you are staying in one of the (Covid-19 approved) hotels and you have a receipt from the hotel then you can get the same test for $150.00,” he told THE NEW TODAY.
The hotelier described as “a shame” the decision taken by this business house to charge the average Grenadian $300.00 for a Rapid Test because they are not staying in a government-approved quarantine hotel facility.
“This doesn’t make sense. It’s a shame. I think they need to do a better job there. All people in Grenada should be paying the same EC$150.00. Why do you want to charge Grenadians double the price because they are not staying in one of our (approved) hotels? It just doesn’t make sense,” he said.
According to the hotelier, “Fit For Life” is seemingly telling people that if they are not staying in an approved Covid-19 hotel and want a Rapid Test that the price is $300.00 but it is charging $150.00 for foreigners at hotels.
He said after he confronted the operators of the business on the issue they quickly changed the price for him from $300.00 to $150.00.
“When people in the waiting room see that they changed the price for me they were very upset and they wanted the same price. It caused a lot of chaos there,” he told THE NEW TODAY.
“I think if you call St Augustine right now they will tell anybody it’s $150.00 but this other company – “Fit for Life” – is charging some people $300.00 and other people $150.00 so it just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me especially when it’s the poor Grenadians are the ones that have to pay more money,” he said.
When contacted for comment on the issue, the owner of the business, Cecil Mitchell said he does not work directly with “Fit For Life” and will call the Laboratory to find out the situation and get back in touch with THE NEW TODAY but he never did.
According to the hotelier who is a US citizen, persons travelling to the United States do not have to get a negative PCR test to enter the country but can do so armed only with a negative Rapid test.
He said this decision by Washington on Covid-19 entry protocol “saves a lot of money” and is “wonderful for my guests who are returning (to the United States)”.
In Grenada, the cost of a PCR test is approximately EC$405.00 while the same test costs as little as EC$52.00 in neighbouring St Vincent & The Grenadines.
The hotelier said that the airlines do accept a Covid-19 Rapid Test for travel to the USA.
Grenada accepts only a PCR test and not a Rapid Test for persons visiting the island.