Cuba eases COVID-19 border restrictions as daily cases decline

2021-11-08 04:36:15 GMT2021-11-08 12:36:15(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

HAVANA, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- The Cuban government started to ease coronavirus border restrictions as the numbers of daily COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations continued to decline over the past week.

The Caribbean nation recorded 483 confirmed cases and one more related death at the close of Saturday, bringing the total caseload to 955,981 and the national death toll to 8,262.

The COVID-19 infection rates have decreased across the country, showed data from the health ministry.

On Sunday, local authorities lifted mandatory hotel quarantine for international travelers who arrive on the island as more than 76 percent of people in Cuba have been fully jabbed with home-grown vaccines.

Also, incoming Cuban nationals can go home straight away after arrival.

Starting Nov. 15, passengers with vaccination passports or certificates issued overseas will be allowed to enter the country, the government said.

Unvaccinated foreign visitors will have to present a negative PCR test within 72 hours after arrival. Children under 12 will not be required to show COVID-19 PCR tests or vaccination passports when visiting Cuba.

According to the Ministry of Transportation, the number of international flights to Cuba could increase from the current 63 a week to about 400 in mid-November.

The reopening of air borders came as the tourism high season in Cuba starts, which runs from November to April.

Cuba has welcomed as many as 200,000 international travelers in 2021 and expects to receive some 100,000 more tourists before the end of the year, said the Cuban Ministry of Tourism.

Beaches, cafeterias, restaurants and sports facilities have reopened as restrictions on people's mobility have been lifted.

Still, either locals or foreigners who visit Cuba are required to abide by mask mandates and physical distancing guidelines in public places to reduce the risk of contagion with the virus. Enditem

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