Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Cuba extends 1900-0500 curfew in Havana through Sept. 30 due to COVID-19. Stricter restrictions reapplied in some provinces.

Alert Begins 12 Sep 2020 02:22 PM UTC
Alert Expires 01 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport, travel, and business disruptions

Summary
Cuban authorities have extended the existing 1900-0500 curfew in Havana through Sept. 30, while reimposing stricter movement and business restrictions in some provinces. The enhanced measures were initially applied in Havana Sept. 1 for 14 days, due to higher coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity. Other measures in the city remain unchanged; officials previously ordered establishments such as restaurants, bars, and pools to close. The government has also suspended public transport services and is banning people from going to the beach.

Most other provinces will remain under Phase 3 of the nation's three-phase recovery program to gradually roll back restrictions, except for Artemisa, Ciego de Avila, Mayabeque, and parts of Sancti Spiritus provinces, where Phase 2 measures have been maintained or reapplied, with even stricter localized restrictions in higher-risk communities. In Matanzas Province, specific measures have been reapplied; stricter capacity limits have been imposed on public transport, restaurants and bars, and all mass group activities have been suspended.

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 who show symptoms of the 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. Descriptions of the three phases are provided below:

Phase 3 of Recovery: All economic and productive activities may resume, and all restaurants, catering establishments, and commercial premises may reopen. Theaters and cinemas can operate, and some sporting events are permitted. Hospital care and face-to-face procedures may also resume. Public transport services within and between Phase 3 areas have resumed.

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. Officials could also impose highly targeted quarantine measures in localized communities where the threat of transmission is assessed to be higher, regardless of the provincial phase of recovery.

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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