By Mayté Solano Gómez
Since the end of 2020, Cuba has been considered among the low-risk countries for Coronavirus, to which you can travel. However, after the gradual opening of the island to international tourism and the entry of Cubans living abroad, the incidence of the disease increased, although sanitary measures are maintained to prevent its spread.
Due to this, the Cuban authorities called for discipline and social and individual responsibility. Among the main figures handled in recent weeks, it was known that the greatest incidence in the increase of the disease was because of travellers from the US, Mexico, Panama, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas mainly. In general, of the total infected in recent times, 71.5% were travellers from abroad and, besides, they were the source of contagion for 51.1% of the more than a thousand cases of contagion in the country.
New measures in Cuba for travellers
The government of Cuba announced a reduction in the entry of travellers from the United States, Mexico, Panama, Bahamas, Haiti and the Dominican Republic and the reinforcement of the sanitary measures implemented, already put into effect since January 1, 2021.
It was also decided to establish as a mandatory requirement for entry to the country of all international travellers, the performance of a PCR test with a negative result for COVID-19, 72 hours before the start of the trip, by a certified laboratory in the country of origin. This measure will take effect from January 10, 2021.
For those who arrive on the island without such proof, measures are foreseen that can range from the return to the country of origin to isolation. The PCR test can be submitted in both Spanish, English and the language of the country of origin.
In the case of international travellers who go from Cuba to countries that request a PCR test, they should go to certified international clinics, which in the case of the capital are the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine (IPK) and the Siboney Clinic. This PCR has a cost of 30 USD.
The authorities of the Civil Aeronautics of Cuba readjust the necessary details with each airline so that they are aware and can implement and demand compliance with all these obligations. This includes the coordination with each one of them of the adjustments, due to the reduction of flights, of the days, hours and airports in which they will continue to operate.
Sanitary measures that remain in Cuba for travellers
Upon arrival in Cuba, the main sanitary measures will be maintained in airports and marinas, which include carrying out a new PCR test at the border and, in the case of international travellers who do not arrive as tourists, another PCR test after five days of arrival which is taken at the place where they are staying. The visitors and their contact relatives will maintain home isolation until the negative result of this second PCR.
In tourist and accommodation facilities, measures are maintained to ensure physical distancing, disinfection of surfaces and hands, and the use of a mask by local personnel.
In this sense, many owners of ‘casas particulares’ in CubaCasa have already received international tourists, applying the established measures and without incident to date. Such is the case of Hostal Casa Verde 3709, in Cienfuegos.
To sum up
It has been ratified by Cuban authorities that the activity of flights is not being suspended, but rather reducing it, while, as soon as the epidemiological situation allows it, the frequency of flights and the entry of travellers from the controlled countries will be gradually restored.
In any case, even though the measures adopted seek to protect the Cuban population and all those who visit the country, they also work to minimize as much as possible the effects on travellers who could be stranded both in Cuba and in the Foreign.
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