Cuba re-opens it timidly to the foreign tourists… that will have to wait

Cuba rouvre timidement aux touristes étrangers... qui se font attendre

Cuba has reopened on Wednesday as part of its territory to foreign tourists – which cannot, however, leave its cayos, the string of paradisiacal islands adjacent to its territory – but these are expected as the pandemic further complicates any trip.

“Cuba reopens its borders to international tourism”, has announced on Twitter the president, Miguel Diaz-Canel, who has declared the epidemic of the coronavirus under control on the island, with a total Wednesday of 2348 cases, 2218 remissions and 86 deaths.

The ministry of Tourism has been informed of the resumption of operations at Cayo Largo, Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, Cayo Cruz and Cayo Santa Maria”, the rest of the country, including Havana, remaining for the time being closed to foreign tourists.

However, no scenic flight only landed on Wednesday in Cuba, according to the authorities, while many countries still have their borders closed, including Canada’s first and largest provider of tourists to the island.

Cuba has adopted a strategy to avoid or limit the appearance of a second wave of cases, with test and temperature taking for any foreign traveler upon arrival, each tourist complex or hotel that also has a medical team.

Foreign tourists arrive on the islands in direct flights and not be able to get out of it, this is to avoid any contact with the cuban population.

Cuba has closed its borders on march 24, is thus deprived of precious foreign exchange from tourism, one of its main sources of revenue ($3.3 billion by 2018), already in decline due to the strengthening of the us embargo in force since 1962.

According to the official figures, the arrivals of tourists to Cuba, between January and April, fell by 49% year on year. The country had received 4.28 million tourists on the whole of 2019.

The restrictions related to the COVID-19 should be translated in the coming months by a shortfall ranging from 1200 to 3300 G$ for the tourism and related sectors, according to an estimate by the UN published on Wednesday, which is a particular concern for “the small island developing States”.

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