Havanna. From January 10th, all international visitors to Cuba must show a negative PCR test. It must have been carried out by a laboratory certified in the country of origin up to 72 hours before arrival on Cuban territory. This was announced by the Foreign Ministry of the socialist state on Saturday. The other health protocols applicable at the border will be retained, as will further tests during the stay.
So far, travelers have been subjected to a PCR test immediately after arrival and had to submit a written declaration about possible corona contacts.
The reason for the measure is the increase in infections since the reopening of the international airports and the global situation in connection with the corona pandemic.
The Ministry of Health announced the latest corona figures on Wednesday: 2,943 patients were admitted for clinical-epidemiological monitoring, 682 with suspicion, 1,011 under surveillance and 1,250 with proven infections. A total of 140 people died with or from the novel SARS-Cov-2 virus.
With over 1,000 people suffering from Covid-19, this is “the most complex epidemiological situation since the outbreak of the pandemic” nine months ago, the ministry said.
Of the total number of 183 new cases, 91 were contact persons from confirmed cases, 90 with a “source of infection abroad” and two without a detectable source. The number of people who tested positive in Cuba rose to 10,900.
After a slight increase in October, the numbers had initially declined again since the beginning of November. According to the dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Havana, Raul Guinovart, they could continue to rise in the next few days due to the arrival of more visitors in the country.
The government banned travel and vacation in Cuba in March to counter the spread of the coronavirus. The gradual resumption of tourist activities began in June. First, hotels and campsites were reopened for Cubans and people residing in the country. For guests from abroad, vacation trips have been possible again since July, but only in hotels on the offshore islands. The seaside resort of Varadero received international tourists again from October 15, and Cuba’s largest airport, the “Aeropuerto Internacional José Martí” in Havana, has also been open to travelers again since mid-November.
A comprehensive hygiene concept is intended to prevent new infections in tourist areas. A basic health team is available in every hotel to carry out random tests and ensure compliance with hygiene measures. The airports work under the strictest hygiene rules.