CASTRIES – St Lucia welcomed on the weekend the first flight from Canada since it closed its borders to international travel on March 23 last in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus, COVD-19.
The St Lucia Tourist Association (SLTA) said that an Air Canada flight arrived here from Toronto ,operating at 99 per cent capacity.
The SLTA said that the island also welcomed three additional three flights from the United States.
“As part of the islands responsible reopening plan, all 725 travellers into Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) were met with a full complement of protocols in place, including a fully staffed nurses’ station, added sanitising stations and thermal scanners and well as physical distancing markers,” the SLTA added.
Tourism Minister, Dominic Fedee, said “we are pleased to welcome Air Canada back to familiar shores and this would signify the opening up of the gateway to other carriers. We are also elated to again welcome United Airlines and the additional services from Jet Blue and American Airline.
“While we navigate this pandemic, we know that at this juncture tourism is really what the world is looking to as an economic driver and for us here in St Lucia, we continue to manage visitor arrivals in a very responsible manner,” he added.
The SLTA said that a key part of St Lucia’s responsible reopening is the COVID-19 compliance certification process for the accommodations sector. It said to date, more than 30 hotels received COVID-19 Certification and visitors can select COVID-19 certified hotels through direct booking, tour operator or airline provider.
“A COVID-19 Command Centre continuously monitors local and global health updates, assessing protocol options to mitigate the possible spread of COVID-19 for visitors and St Lucian communities,” the SLTA added.
St Lucia is among several tourism-dependent countries that has been affected by the pandemic that severely limited the movement of people across the globe. (CMC)