HAVANA TIMES – The Cuban government closed the country’s borders over the coronavirus pandemic on Friday and said only foreign tourists would be allowed out and citizens and permanent residents would be allowed back in, reported dpa news.
“We are going to regulate entry through the country’s borders, leaving only authorized residents to enter Cuba,” President Miguel Diaz-Canel said in a speech broadcast on the national radio and television network.
According to Prime Minister Manuel Marrero, there are currently 60,000 tourists on the island. It’s uncertain as to how many will actually have flights available to go home. Starting Tuesday, March 24, no-one coming from abroad except residents of Cuba will be allowed into the Caribbean island nation.
The measure is to remain in place for at least 30 days.
Cuban authorities also said public activities will be restricted. The government is promoting social distancing in commercial settings. Strangely, schools are to remain open.
So far 21 people have tested positive for the new coronavirus in Cuba. All the cases were imported, according to officials. One person, an Italian tourist, has died. Some 700 people are under observation.