When countries reopen, they’re doing it in a variety of ways. Some places, like New Zealand and Japan, are looking at travel bubbles. Others are making blood tests, temperature checks and/or quarantines mandatory. Tanzania is just letting anyone in, no testing required, and I’d say that their numbers show it but they haven’t been very forthright with their numbers all along, so who knows, really?
But Cuba? Their plan is, I think, the most creative and, if you ask me, smart way to reopen to tourism and keep their residents safe, all at the same time.
As of a few days ago, Cuba had reported slightly over 2,200 confirmed cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus and 84 deaths. However, the country claims it now has the virus under control and will now begin a 3-phase plan to gradually reopen the country.
However they, obviously, want to keep their residents safe, so besides tourists having to be tested at the airport, they’re also going to do something, at least in Phase 1, that I haven’t seen any other country do.
As posted in the Miami Herald:
At first, foreign tourists will only be allowed to stay in hotels in Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo and Cayo Largo del Sur.
But tourists and locals will not mingle. Tourists won’t be able to visit the mainland during their stay, and Cuban nationals will not be allowed to book hotels in the keys.
Essentially, they’re going to divide the country. Tourists will only be able to visit Cuba’s keys (“cayos”). So if you were visiting Cuba and wanted to go to, let’s say, Havana during the first phase, you’d be out of luck. But then again, Cubans can’t visit the keys in question, either.
Each hotel on each of the keys will have a medical team that will follow up on each traveler’s health. Hotel staff will also undergo testing, and will have to isolate themselves after working seven-day shifts.
During Phase 1, using facial coverings and social distancing will be mandatory. Later on, people will only have to wear face masks when in crowded public places. And as a permanent measure, as per the Prime Minister of Cuba, if an employee has respiratory symptoms (s)he won’t be allowed to work at their workplace (What’s that? You’re NOT ALLOWED to go to work if you re sick? Wow, what a concept!).
Americans, of course, are still not allowed to visit Cuba, except under strict rules put in place by the current administration. Visiting the “cayos” of Cuba probably wouldn’t fit under any of the U.S. governments’ guidance so any American who wants to get there legally will likely have to wait a bit.
#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary