Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Cuba continues lifting COVID-19 restrictions nationwide, except Matanzas, from July 3. Some international charter flights permitted.

  • Alert Begins: 02 Jul 2020 01:12 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 17 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport, travel, and business disruptions

Authorities in Cuba are continuing their phased reopening of the economy and tourism with additional restrictions to be lifted July 3. The restrictive measures were previously introduced to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Beginning July 3, La Habana Province will move to Phase 1 of recovery, and the rest of the country will move to Phase 2, except Matanzas Province, where restrictions will remain unchanged. Certain requirements remain in place nationwide. The use of a protective facemask is mandatory in public spaces, and all individuals must adhere to social distancing and hygiene requirements. Employees that show symptoms of disease must not be permitted to return to work. Outdoor and indoor activities that draw large crowds of people remain suspended, and schools and education facilities remain closed.

Phase 1 and 2 of Recovery
Under Phase 1 and 2, commercial and recreational activities may resume in a phased approach. Facilities and establishments permitted to reopen under strict operating requirements include restaurants and bars, gyms, retail stores, swimming pools and beaches, amusement parks, and other recreational facilities, hotels, and religious institutions. Stricter capacity limits and rules around operating hours will be enforced under Phase 1. Under Phase 2, authorities will lift restrictions on inter-municipal passenger transport and further ease restrictions on the tourism sector.

Previously announced measures remain in place, including the closure of all nonessential businesses and facilities. All stores will only be permitted to sell food and cleaning and hygiene products. All food stores are required to close at 2000. All forms of public transport will remain suspended, and travel in and out of the province remains restricted.

Authorities previously suspended all inbound and outbound international commercial and charter passenger flights. As of July 1, tourists will be able to travel to Cayo Coco, Cayo Cruz, Cayo Guillermo, Cayo Santa Maria, and Cayo Largo del Sur. Only charter flights are permitted, and all passengers will be subject to enhanced health screenings and mandatory testing. Cargo operations and humanitarian flights will be able to continue. No foreign sea vessels are allowed in Cuban waters until further notice. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
Several governments globally have implemented recovery plans to lift restrictive measures introduced in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) March 11. Should the number of COVID-19 cases significantly increase, previously relaxed restrictions may be reapplied. Likewise, a continued low number of cases may result in a further relaxation of restrictions.

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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