HAVANA TIMES – Starting June 5, Cuban residents returning from traveling abroad will be faced with recently adopted new measures imposed because of Covid-19.
Cuban nationals arriving at airports associated with tourism (Varadero, Ciego de Ávila) will be isolated for seven days in hotels in those towns. They must pay all expenses (accommodation, food, transportation, etc.) in US dollars or equivalents. Cuban pesos will not be accepted.
The new requirement was provided by Dr. Francisco Duran García, National Director of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Public Health, during his daily television report on the evolution of Covid-19 in Cuba.
Duran said the decision responds to the “epidemiological risk represented by Cuban travelers and their reported cases.” These he noted “are based on sick people in the community after their period of isolation and established surveillance.”
In recent weeks, Cubans coming from Russia have represented a considerable percent of imported cases, far exceeding those from other countries. Cubans do not need a visa to travel to that country where they can stay for up to 90 days. Many of these travelers do so for the purpose of purchasing goods for personal use or for resale in Cuba.
While most flights to the island are suspended, Russian tourists are allowed to fly to Varadero and Ciego de Avila to enjoy beach resorts. Some Cubans have also taken advantage of those flights.
Returning Cuban travelers arriving at the airports in Havana and Santiago de Cuba must pay for the cost of transportation to the isolation centers in Cuban pesos — where their stay will be free. They must also assume costs for their transfer home after their time in isolation.