News Alerts

24 Mar 2020 | 05:08 AM UTC

Cuba: New entry restrictions come into effect March 24 /update 2

Cuba News Alert

Cuba prohibits all foreign travelers from entering the country from March 24 to prevent further spread of COVID-19; further containment measures in place

TIMEFRAME expected from 3/23/2020, 12:00 AM until 4/30/2020, 11:59 PM (America/Havana). COUNTRY/REGION Cuba

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Event

New entry restrictions are scheduled to come into effect on Tuesday, March 24, to prevent further spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) into Cuba. All foreigners and Cubans living abroad will no longer be allowed to enter the country. Returning Cubans will be place in government monitored isolation for 14 days. The new entry restrictions will be in effect for 30 days and may be extended depending on the situation.

Other containment measures also remain in place as of Monday, March 23. All tourists are required to stay in their hotel or casas particular (private houses) and are only allowed to leave the premises to travel to the airport. All discos, nightclubs, and gyms are closed until further notice. School and universities will suspend classes from March 24 until April 30. Strict social distancing measures are also being ordered in businesses and stores. The government said it will deploy additional police officers into streets, grocery stores, and other public places to enforce the new regulations.

As of March 23, 40 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the country. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) labelled the outbreak as pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone non-essential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

 

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