Cuba approves 400 weekly flights after reopening

HAVANA (AP) – Cuba has approved 400 weekly flights throughout the country, compared to the 63 it currently operates, starting on November 15, when the normalization of air transport is expected, vital for the island’s economy.

The Caribbean nation improved its indicators in relation to the new coronavirus pandemic by dropping from 9,000 daily cases to about 500 this Tuesday. Mortality also decreased radically in recent weeks, thus initiating a process to eliminate measures of social isolation.

The Minister of Transportation, Eduardo Rodríguez Dávila, reported on Tuesday that of the more than 400 weekly frequencies approved, 147 will come from the United States – home to the largest Cuban community in exile – although the air lines of that country have not yet confirmed their flights due to the special permits they require from Washington to travel to the island, which is subject to sanctions.

“In recent weeks, intense rehabilitation work has been carried out in the main terminals,” explained Rodríguez, who indicated that the areas especially in customs were expanded, internet access was provided for travelers and the number of transport carts was even increased. .

The gradual opening will also run for the ten international airports throughout the country.

Cuba announced that, together with the lifting of mobility restrictions for its citizens and foreigners, it will change the protocol against COVID-19, eliminating the mandatory quarantine in isolated places but will require vaccination or PCR schemes for people who arrive.

In these days the authorities began to lift movement restrictions -including the night curfew in Havana and in other towns-, public transportation was increased and interprovincial barriers were removed; although it is still far from satisfying the accumulated demand in these months.

The young people and children began – or will do so in the coming days depending on the grades they are taking – face-to-face classes.

Cuba contained the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020 by closing its borders and through a house-to-house screening procedure. But at the end of last year it reopened at the time that the Delta variant entered the country causing a regrowth that put the health system in crisis in some provinces such as Matanzas or Ciego de Ávila.

In May, Cuba – with a population of 11 million inhabitants – began a mass vaccination process with its nationally produced inoculants Soberana 02, Soberana Plus and Abdala from the age of two.

According to the Ministry of Health, as of October 31, 7.2 million people had their complete vaccination schedule – on the island there are three doses.

Since March 2020, when the first patient was detected, 953,000 COVID-19 positives have been registered, of which 8,246 died.

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