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Havana International Airport Resumes Flight Operations After Seven Months of Shutdown

Image used for representational purpose. (Photo: Reuters)

Image used for representational purpose. (Photo: Reuters)

On Sunday, a plane carrying passengers from Miami landed at the Jose Marti International Airport, marking the first since the suspension, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Havana international airport has resumed flight operations after remaining closed for more than seven months in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic in Cuba.

On Sunday, a plane carrying passengers from Miami landed at the Jose Marti International Airport, marking the first since the suspension, reports Xinhua news agency.

Manuel Lopez, Director General of the airport, told the media that rigorous bio-safety and disinfecting procedures were in place and in line with international standards.

"So far, we have operated four domestic flights and eleven international ones from the United States," he said.

"We are very happy with the implication of the sanitary measures."

On the first day, more than 20 commercial flights from North America, Europe, Central America and the Caribbean have landed in the country's capital, according to Cuban civil aviation authorities.

Tourists and Cuban residents have been subjected to temperature checks and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on arrival in line with the country's post-pandemic recovery plan.

"Visitors should stay at hotel facilities, houses for rent or relatives' places under movement restrictions until they are notified about the PCR test results," said Francisco Duran, national director of epidemiology at the Cuban Ministry of Public Health.

On the fifth day of their stay on the island, all visitors must do the PCR test again in order to confirm the negative result.

The reopening comes ahead of the peak season for tourism on the island, which runs from December through March.

According to official figures, more than 60 per cent of tourists arriving on the island every year visit Havana's historical downtown centre.

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Cuba suspended international flights in late March and partially reopened borders in early July for tourists interested in visiting the northern and southern key islands of the country.

Since mid-October, airports in all provinces except capital Havana restarted operation.

So far, 131 people have died from Covid-19 in Cuba and the total caseload stands at 7,590.

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