Critical Alert

Cuba lifts curfew, eases COVID-19 restrictions in Havana as of Oct. 1. Stricter localized restrictions in place in some provinces.

Alert Begins 01 Oct 2020 04:38 PM UTC
Alert Expires 28 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

 

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

 

Summary
Cuban authorities have lifted the 1900-0500 curfew and relaxed other restrictions in Havana as of Oct. 1, while maintaining nationwide measures in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Under the new measures in Havana, public transport may resume at 80-percent capacity; commercial activity, and private and state services may resume at 50-percent capacity; and beaches and swimming pools may reopen with 30-percent capacity. Some restrictions will remain, including the suspension of interprovincial transport to and from Havana, the closure of schools until early November, the closure of bars and discotheques, and the suspension of public and private parties.

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 remain closed.

Most provinces are under Phase 3 of the nation's three-phase recovery program to gradually roll back restrictions; stricter measures are, however, in place in localized areas in Artemisa, Ciego de Avila, Matanzas, Mayabeque, and Sancti Spiritus provinces. A 1900-0500 curfew is also being enforced in Sancti Spritus Municipality. The status of each municipality is constantly being assessed as they are subject to change at short notice. Descriptions of the three phases of recovery 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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