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Cuba welcomes first planeload of Canadians in months

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Posted by PAX Global Media

Canadians are bringing vacations back to Cuba as the Caribbean island welcomed its first round of guests on Friday (Sept. 4th) care of Air Canada.  

The plane arrived from Montreal at Cayo Coco airport mid-day, representing a major milestone for Cuba, which closed its  airports in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Customers can book non-stop flights with Air Canada Vacations from Montreal to Cayo Coco operating on Fridays, and from Toronto to Cayo Coco on Saturdays starting on September 26th. 

READ MORE: These Canadian airlines are heading back to Cuba

Beginning in October, departures from Toronto to Cayo Coco will operate twice per week on Saturdays and Sundays. 

Passengers arrived at Cayo Coco airport mid-day, representing a major milestone for Cuba. (ACV)

As well, beginning in October, vacationers can visit Varadero with non-stop flights from Montreal operating on Sundays and from Toronto operating on Saturdays. 

“Our goal at Air Canada Vacations is to continue to provide you with the updates you need to help turn your customers’ vacation dreams into reality,” said Nino Montagnese, Managing Director at Air Canada Vacations, previously. “With non-stop flights beginning in September and October to popular destinations in Cuba, coupled with Air Canada CleanCare+ and Air Canada Vacations’ health and safety standards, your customers can book with confidence and enjoy some fun in the sun!”

Getting there

While Canadians who go to Cuba might not have to quarantine in destination, the Government of Canada's mandatory 14-day quarantine upon return to Canada remains.

Upon arrival in Cuba, travellers will undergo a temperature check and a COVID-19 test. There is no charge for passengers, and results are available in 24 hours. 

Customers can book non-stop flights with ACV from YUL to Cayo Coco on Fridays, and from YYZ to Cayo Coco on Saturdays starting Sept. 26th. (ACV)

Hotels in regions like Cayo Coco have been allowed to open under international sanitary regulations. However, city centres, such as Havana (which is still trying to control its COVID-19 outbreak) remains closed to foreigners. 

Air Transat has confirmed that flights to Cayo Coco from Montreal and Toronto are currently set to resume in October. 

Sunwing Airlines has also indicated that it will offer a fall schedule to Cuba with flights from Toronto and Montreal to Varadero and Cayo Coco. 

Welcoming visitors back

Cuba's Ministry of Tourism, in partnership with the Cuban Ministry of Public Health, has implemented a rigorous certification program across the island for members of the tourism sector.

The Cayos (CCC, SNU, CYO) reopened to international tourism on July 1st, 2020. 

The new program aims to provide insight on health and safety protocols for hotels, non-hotel services, support services, transportation and other companies that fall within the tourism sector.

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