Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Cuba continues phased lifting of COVID-19 restrictions nationwide, except in La Habana and Mayabeque provinces, as of July 20.

  • Alert Begins: 20 Jul 2020 03:29 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 30 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport, travel, and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Cuba have initiated Phase 3 of the phased reopening of the economy and tourism across most of the country, as of July 20. The restrictive measures were previously introduced to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). La Habana province, however, will remain under Phase 1, and Mayabeque will remain under Phase 2 due to higher disease activity. Certain requirements remain in place nationwide. The use of a protective face mask is mandatory in public spaces, and all individuals must adhere to social distancing and hygiene requirements. Employees that show symptoms of disease may not be permitted to return to work. Outdoor and indoor activities that draw large crowds of people, including carnivals remain suspended. Nightclubs, schools, and education facilities remain closed.

Phase 3 of Recovery: All economic and productive activities may resume, and all restaurants, catering establishments and commercial premises may reopen. Hospital care and the face-to-face procedures may also resume.

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 are enforced under Phase 1. Under Phase 2, authorities lifted restrictions on inter-municipal passenger transport and further eased restrictions on the tourism sector.

Authorities previously suspended all inbound and outbound international commercial and charter passenger flights. Since July 1, tourists are permitted 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.

Advice
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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