News Alerts

14 Aug 2020 | 10:09 PM UTC

Cuba: Authorities suspend commercial flights through September 1 /update 12

Cuba News Alert

Cuban authorities extend the suspension of commercial flights through to September 1; confirm flight itineraries, follow official directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 8/14/2020, 12:00 AM until 9/1/2020, 11:59 PM (America/Havana). COUNTRY/REGION Cuba

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Event

The Cuban government have extended the suspension of commercial flights entering and leaving the country through September 1, over coronavirus disease (COVID-19) concerns. The suspension includes both charter and commercial flights, and the date may be subject to further review.

Havana's Jose Marti International Airport (HAV) continues to operate for humanitarian and repatriation flights for Cuban nationals and foreign nationals with valid permanent residency visas or permits only, and those arriving will be required to quarantine for a 14-day period at a government facility. Cuban authorities announced from July 1 international tourists are allowed entry on international charter flights arriving directly into five Cayos only, including, Cayo Coco, Cayo Cruz, Cayo Guillermo (served by Jardines del Rey Airport (CCC)); Cayo Santa Maria (flying into Santa Clara's Abel Santamaria Airport (SNU)), and Cayo Largo del Sur. Additional screening measures, temperature checks, and PCR testing should be anticipated for all arrivals.

On June 11, the government set out three recovery phases to gradually lift the measures in place; which will be dependent on the number of COVID-19 cases confirmed locally. For those in phase three, transport services within the provinces have restarted as has inter-provincial travel between provinces. Face masks must be worn at all times when in public and on public transportation. Social distancing of a minimum of 1m (3.3 ft) should be observed. Cafes, bars, and restaurants, as well as social clubs, gyms, museums, swimming pools, beaches, and churches, have reopened with limited opening hours and a limitation to the number of customers/guests.

Authorities reimposed strict lockdown measures in Havana on August 8, following a spike in locally transmitted cases of COVID-19. Bars, restaurants, and nightclubs are closed, though take away services are available at some. Public transportation is suspended and access to pools and beaches is prohibited. Social distancing measures remain in force and face masks remain mandatory for all individuals to wear in public places. Curfews have been enacted in some provinces, such as Santiago de Cuba. There also remains movement restrictions between provinces, with all movement banned between Havana, or Bauta municipality, with other provinces. Additional security and police checkpoints have been erected in and out of Havana and Bauta.

As of Friday, August 14, there have been 3174 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Cuba with 89 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in 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). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

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

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.

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 nonessential 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 disease.

 

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