CUBA NEWS MARCH 7, 2021
Cuba remains closed to tourists for all practical purposes. The Cuban government had been reporting dozens of new cases of COVID-19 daily throughout 2020, but in January 2021 the daily case count jumped into the hundreds and then into the thousands. Only a handful of flights a week are arriving in Havana from the United States, and all arrivals must quarantine. Cuban nationals must quarantine in facilities designated by the Cuban government, and foreigners must quarantine in authorized hotels. All arriving passengers will have two PCR tests administered, and only after the second test comes back negative will passengers be allowed out. The process takes over a week.
Once passengers are out of quarantine, they will come face to face with the new reality in Cuba. Most restaurants and other establishments that cater to foreigners across the island are closed, and the ones that are open are providing extremely limited services. Another issue which visitors to Cuba will face is the significant increase in prices due to the monetary reorganization that the Cuban government launched on January 1, 2021. A subject we will discuss next week. We recommend anyone who is planning a trip to the island to wait until things are back to normal.
The Cuban government has been working on four experimental vaccines and claiming that it would be the first county in the world to vaccinate its population. However, none of those vaccines has been approved for use yet, though two are in the final trial stage. We expect Cuba will closed for the next several months, with visitors from the U.S. possibly returning by September, just in time for hurricane season.
By Frank Gonzalez