Hoping for the effectiveness of its vaccines and the projection that more than 90% of the population will complete the vaccination scheme in November, Cuba is preparing the conditions to gradually open the borders as of the 15th of that month, according to the state-run newspaper Granma.
In its digital edition, the newspaper reproduced this Sunday the brief note from the Ministry of Tourism by which it notified that “hygienic-sanitary protocols will be made more flexible upon travelers’ arrival, focusing on monitoring symptomatic patients and taking temperature. In addition, diagnostic tests will be carried out randomly, a PCR test will not be required upon arrival and travelers’ vaccination certificate will be recognized.”
A partir del avance en el proceso de vacunación en el país y la perspectiva de que más del 90% de la población cubana estará vacunada en noviembre, se preparan las condiciones en el destino para abrir las fronteras a partir del 15 de noviembre del 2021. https://t.co/2g03tfbbNw pic.twitter.com/r9nXt2PjGt
— Juan Carlos Garcia Granda (@JuannCarlosGG) September 6, 2021
For this reason, the opening of the domestic tourist market will begin gradually, according to each territory’s epidemiological indicators, the source said.
After opening its borders last October, Cuba reduced international entry since the beginning of this year due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the worst the country has experienced since March 2020, when the first three cases of coronavirus were reported. In recent weeks, infections have remained above 7,000 and deaths over 80 a day.
Until last May, 88 239 foreign tourists had entered the island, 895 893 less than at that stage of the previous year. There were 137,178 travelers between January and May, 1,097,074 less. The drastic reduction is attributed to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before the coronavirus, tourism represented for Cuba the second official source of foreign exchange income — only after the sale of professional services abroad — and contributed around 10% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).