Published on : Monday, March 23, 2020
Cuban leader Miguel Díaz-Canel announced on Friday night that the country is shutting down most air travel and will not be admitting tourists from Tuesday. In the middle of coronavirus pandemic for weeks the island was open for tourism.
The leader stated that only Cubans who reside on the island and foreign citizens who are permanent residents or work on the island will be able to re-enter the country.
The measure will stay in place for at least a month and commercial cargo will not be affected by it.
Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero said that around 60,000 tourists currently in the country will be able to leave freely, but they are being encouraged to do so in the next 72 hours, because flights might not be available in the future due to the travel restrictions implemented by other countries.
He went on saying that the country was closing its borders but regulating entry.
By next week most government-run hotels are expected to close by next week.
By next week most government-run hotels are expected to close by next week and encouraged the owners of private hostels and Airbnbs to ask their guests to leave in time to catch a flight. Around 11,600 travelers are staying in private accommodations.
The wording used to announce the measures suggests that
Cubans who live permanently abroad will also not be allowed back, and that Cubans on the island won’t be able to travel overseas. However,more detailed information will follow soon.
After the number of suspected cases of coronavirus cases in the country jumped to 712 and 21 confirmed of having the virus the announcement came while one Italian tourist has died.
Cubans were advised to adopt social-distancing measure and avoid unnecessary travel.Díaz-Canel stated that the country needs to maintain some level of economic activity to cope with the additional strain posed by the pandemic and asked for “discipline” and “solidarity.”