HAVANA, Cuba. – Cuba will start opening its borders gradually starting this November 15th, according to a brief news release published this Sunday by the island’s Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR, by its Spanish acronym).
“Keeping in mind how the vaccination process has progressed in Cuba, its proven effectiveness and the prospect of having more than 90% of the population fully vaccinated by November, conditions are being prepared to open its borders gradually, starting on November 15, 2021,” states the release.
In addition, Cuban authorities will loosen the health protocols at its airports, while continuing to check passengers’ temperature and focus on those that show symptoms.
MINTUR added that Cuba will accept travelers proof of vaccination, will only conduct diagnostic tests at random, and will not require that passengers be administered at PCR test upon arrival.
Likewise, “there will be a gradual reopening of the domestic tourism market to the extent that epidemiological indicators for each region allow it.”
Until September 2, only 36.2% of the population had been vaccinated with the Cuba-made vaccines, as revealed recently by Dr. Francisco Durán García, National Director of Epidemiology at the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP, by its Spanish acronym). Along those lines, the regime estimates that 92.6% of the population will be fully vaccinated by November, even though the original goal that health authorities projected to have 70% of the population fully vaccinated by August was not met.
After several months of almost total shutdown due to the pandemic, the Havana’s airport restarted its usual operations on November 15, 2020. Three months later, the Cuban government had to reduce the number of flights arriving in the island because of an increase in COVID-19 contagion; Cuba finally had to close its borders in March.
Today, Cuba is facing its worse COVID-19 contagion outbreak since the pandemic started in March 2020. This past Sunday alone, the country reported officially 86 deaths as a result of the virus, and 9,221 new COVID-19 cases.
A physician who spoke to CubaNet on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, told us: “You would have to multiply by ten the numbers of cases and fatalities that are released on television. There are many who have died of the virus, but on their death certificate any cause of death is written except COVID-19, to prevent the population from going into a state of panic, and also to hide the government’s mismanagement of the pandemic.”
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