Cuba Suspends Urban and Rural Public Transport starting Saturday

Cuban president Miguel Diaz Canel (2nd from the left) headed the daily briefing of top authorities on Covid-19.  Photo: Estudios Revolución

HAVANA TIMES – Cuba in grinding to a halt like many other countries. As of Saturday April 11, both urban and rural public transport will be suspended, to try and curb the expansion of the coronavirus on the island, announced Transportation Minister Eduardo Rodríguez on Thursday, reported Europa Press.

The exception to the prohibition is the worker transportation for those who provide “vital” services and emergencies, such as the transfer of people to health facilities. On those vehicles social distancing is an obligation.

The licenses of private taxis have also been suspended, forcing them to stay home but freeing them from paying taxes. Likewise, the circulation of passengers in cargo transportation, common on rural highways, is now prohibited.


With less stores selling basic food and hygiene products outside the limited quantities at ration stores it remains to be seen what the situation of long lines will be at those that still do when available.

On the other hand, the Minister of Internal Commerce of Cuba, Betsy Diaz, reported that large shopping centers will be closed as of Friday. However, she said some government stores will begin to sell products with online sales, something the vast majority of Cubans have no access to.

President Miguel Diaz-Canel said the decisions that are being taken in the country are not intended to “bother anyone”, but are carried out “to save lives.” “Although it hurts, we have to make sacrifices; being at home, not visiting family or friends,” he said during the coronavirus situation update meeting.

Díaz-Canel has warned that Covid-19 cases in Cuba “are increasing and will continue to do so.” “The success we have in detection and reduction depends a lot on how the prevention measures are carried out,” he added.

“The pandemic has still not manifested itself in its greatest magnitude. This can’t be solved only with repression, with measures, with fines. It is solved with understanding and with a responsible and civilized way of acting,” he added.

The Cuban authorities informed on Thursday a total of 515 confirmed cases of coronavirus – 58 new ones in the preceding 24-hours – and 15 deaths. Also, they said 28 people have recovered from the disease.

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8 thoughts on “Cuba Suspends Urban and Rural Public Transport starting Saturday

  • Resources are scarce in Cuba. You have to make do with what you got. ” Necessity is The Mother of Invention.” We in the developed nations have not even had a taste of dire scarcity, since The Thirties lest a Depression hit us or is manufactured by the controllers of this world’s economic future.
    The manufacturing of a world depression by ‘ the controllers of the World ‘s Economy I believe have already started. Gee ! I could make that observation into a movie and make a million dollars or more.

  • My family members in Guantanamo are very worried for what will happen in the weeks to come. Many stores were already closed PRIOR to the outbreak due to shortages. Although G’mo has not yet suffered much from the virus, as a community they are so woefully unprepared for any sort of setback that if the situation worsens, the impact will be magnified. The good news? Transportation in and out of the area is so bad due to a lack of fuel and vehicles that the risk of the outsiders bringing more infections to the area is low.

  • I read a few months ago that the new Havana-Santiago trains were running only every four days. How often are they running now?

  • I cannot say Brent that I had observed any dramatic changes in Cuba. 95% of the services, infrastructure and the Communist Party hacks, get one year older every year, but that is just aging and who cares whether the Chevy taxi belching out diesel fumes was manufactured in 1952 or 1955? By saying that you won’t return until things are better, you exclude yourself from visiting for a long, long time. The diminishing supply of food and other essentials commenced long prior to the Covid 19 epidemic. It was noticeable in October – which was when they laid off over 300 tourist guides – an indication that tourist numbers had dropped very considerably. For those of us with families in Cuba, it is very worrying. I am in daily communication with my wife and the food shortages are marked. More worrying is that obtaining food means going daily to the Cimex and Pan-American shops where the line-ups are getting bigger not smaller and where social distancing is abandoned. Who knows who is responsible for distribution – where does Eduardo Rodriguez Davila fit in as Minister of Transportation – or does he having stopped public transport, now sit on his hands? Possibly Nestle being capitalist, will find a way to distribute their ice-cream – but otherwise?

  • I’ve been visiting Cuba every year since 2016, I was just there in March and the changes I’ve seen in Cuba have been dramatic. After this last trip, I decided not to return until some big changes for the better are made. Cuba is running out of everything, it’s getting bad, really bad.

  • Everyone needs to practice washing their hands more often, not shaking hands with anyone. Staying two-six feet away from another person known as social-distancing, Staying at home is best, but if you need to go out wear a mask.
    Not to meet in more than ten people in a group. Most cases are spreading by attending funerals and weddings, best not to attend either. Cremation is preferred for health reasons for the environment as well. We are in a new spontaneous evolution, not the norm as we knew it for sure. RESET!

  • One wonders whether the four coaches which daily travel from the much promoted but almost inactive port of Mariel to Artemisa, Candalaria and other places on the Carretera Central with workers, are still operating or whether the regime is admitting that apart from the incident on March 18 when the Fred Olsen cruise ship Braemar was allowed to dock right beside the four cranes designed to lift containers, that the port is inactive. I have yet to see a single train on the new railway line from Havana to Mariel, although Putin supplied a couple of engines. For several months prior to the Covid 19 outbreak, Cuban TV was showing new houses at Mariel said to be for workers, but that was impossible to check as security goons ensure that no one can get near the port.

  • Yeah, online sales. That falls into the “let them eat cake” category.
    And I say that “cargo transportation” is a bit of a euphemism. It means, trucks that are used for hauling pigs and gravel in other countries are used for hauling people in Cuba.

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