[APIAUTH]

It is official: Cuba regulates entry through borders

Published on 2020-03-24 by Norlan Echevarria

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez reported on the regulation of entry through the country's borders, with authorization only for the entry of residents in Cuba, although there will be flexibility to guarantee cooperation with other countries.

"We thus guarantee the entry of Cubans who are abroad, the return to their countries of foreign visitors who are in the national territory, and commercial activity," he explained.

In a television address during a special broadcast of the Round Table program, he explained that the measure responds to the need to intensify the work of detection and isolation to avoid the spread and transmission of COVID-19.

In correspondence, the Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero Cruz, specified that it is not a closing of the country's borders, but rather regulating the entry of people, except residents, including some foreigners who live in the national territory permanently or temporary, for work reasons.

Anyone residing in Cuba will have no limitations, he said, although they will undergo the established fourteen-day quarantine period. "The rest of the entrances, by air or sea, will be regulated."

In the event that merchant ship crews decide to disembark, they will have to be subjected to extreme surveillance.

The Prime Minister clarified that commercial operations are maintained in order to keep the economy alive, so “the arrival of planes and cargo ships will continue. But their crews will not have freedom of movement, but will be concentrated in specific places with medical surveillance. "

Cuban airspace, through which many planes in the world fly, will not be closed. Airports will continue to provide services for those flights that bring, for example, aid or collaborators, or residents in the national territory.

A stop at the entrance of tourists to the country

Travel restrictions will take effect from next Tuesday. From that day on, no more tourists can enter the country.

Marrero Cruz explained that the limitations will be in force for 30 days, during which period the epidemiological situation will be assessed. If this continues and the country is affected, they may be extended.

The Prime Minister reported that around 13,000 foreign visitors will return to their countries daily, of the nearly 60,000 who were in the country on Friday, March 20.

In this sense, he explained that tour operators and airlines will have the possibility of continuing to come to the country to transport those visitors back.

Such decisions - he explained - were made in strict compliance with international standards, and have been supported by the organizations of International Civil and Maritime Aviation, the International Labor Organization, the World Health Organization, and the Tourism Organization.

On the complex situation that is generated in the tourism sector, Marrero said that "next week we will not have tourists in the country."

He reported that Russia, a stable travel market for Cuba, will close air operations to the Island starting next week.

"Possibly all the hotels will be closed, some may be open to provide basic services," he said, which will have a major impact on various sectors of the economy.

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