The countries have finally started lifting the nationwide lockdowns amid COVID-19 pandemic to boost the tourism industry and the latest to join the bandwagon is Cuba as it now welcomes travellers. Rolling out its red carpet for tourists post the COVID-19 lockdown, the news came as a ray of hope not just for travel enthusiasts but also for several laid-off leisure industry employees residing in the Communist-run island.
Similar to the rest of the world, Cuba had too closed its airports in March courtesy COVID-19 and decided to open from September 4. On Friday, an Air Canada plane arrived at the Cayo-Coco airport on the northcentral coast and is now expected to fly weekly to Cuba and biweekly from next month.
While the decades-old trade embargo makes the United States ban residents from making tourist trips to Cuba, they can still travel to the import-dependent country for purposes including education. On the other hand, Canada has long been the Caribbean island’s most important tourist provider.
A report in the Reuters revealed that Canada accounted for 1.1 million of the 4.2 million arrivals in Cuba last year, as per the government and the industry revenues were $2.6 billion in 2019. So far Cuba has reported 4,298 cases of coronavirus till date with 2,345 recovery cases and 100 deaths from COVID-19.
Though schools have opened elsewhere in Cuba, the alarming increase in coronavirus cases in Havana has pushed the city into a fortnight lockdown. The authorities are seeking to stamp out the surge in spread of the novel coronavirus in the capital while aggressive anti-virus measures like closing down air travel have almost eliminated COVID-19 in other Cuban cities.