The island of St. Lucia is once again welcoming Canadian visitors to its shores this fall with Air Canada Vacations starting November 7, 2020. The first flight back to St. Lucia will depart from Toronto after nearly eight months away from air service in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Air Canada will resume direct non-stop service from Toronto (YYZ) to Saint Lucia (UVF) with a weekly frequency every Saturday, then increase to (3) weekly flights from December 2020.
Saint Lucia’s borders were officially opened to international travelers on June 4, 2020 as part of the first phase of the country’s responsible reopening plan. Since reopening, the island has safely welcomed over 16,000 international guests from the UK and USA. Adding to consumer confidence, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reduced Saint Lucia’s Covid-19 rating to the lowest – Level 1, as one of only eight countries in the world.
Canadian visitors will need to obtain a negative PCR (polymer chain reaction) test within seven days of travel. To ensure a seamless airport experience, all visitors and returning nationals must complete a pre-arrival registration form prior to departure, which can be found at www.stlucia.org. The page presents a checklist of mandatory requirements to ensure that visitors are not refused entry upon arrival.
The first phase of Saint Lucia’s responsible reopening plan includes enhanced screening protocols at airports, with temperature checks on arrival and mandatory testing for any symptomatic passengers. Additionally, anyone showing signs and symptoms will be subject to immediate isolation and testing, with possible quarantine or treatment if a passenger tests positive – at their own expense.
Passengers arriving with proof of a negative PCR test are exempt from testing on the island (unless symptomatic) and proceed through immigration, baggage claim, customs and arrivals for transportation to their Covid-19 certified hotel.
The government of Saint Lucia has developed Covid-19 certification guidelines for all hotels with specific criteria, including a fully equipped nurses station at each property, disinfection of luggage at check-in, sanitation protocols strict housekeeping and social distancing measures in place. Visitors can select Covid-19 certified hotels by booking directly online with Air Canada Vacations.
A spokesperson for the island’s tourism authority said Canadians do not need to quarantine upon arrival, although Canadian law requires a 14-day quarantine for returning residents. Canada. All off-property activities must be arranged in advance by the guests’ COVID-19 certified hotel, he said.
The Minister of Tourism of Saint Lucia, the Hon. Dominic Fedee, added: “The direct service from Toronto plays a vital role in efforts to revive tourism in Saint Lucia. Canada is our third largest source market for international travel, we would like to thank our Canadian tourism partners, stakeholders and future visitors for their patience and continued support.”
“Saint Lucia has taken extensive security measures to protect its residents and visitors to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. Canadians can travel with confidence knowing that Saint Lucia is a safe destination, we are delighted to welcome you back.”
For more information on Saint Lucia’s response to Covid-19, including live updates on safety protocols and what travelers should expect as the phased reopening continues, go to Visit www.stlucia.org/covid-19.