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Cuba reopens vital tourist beaches

Regional 21 Oct, 2020 Follow News

Cuba’s Varadero beaches are immensely attractive

Cuba’s most important tourist beaches have reopened to international visitors in Varadero. The government hopes to reactivate a key economic sector after a six-month closure.

Regular and charter flights are authorised to all of Cuba’s international airports except for Havana. Flights to the capital will remain closed but may on Oct. 31 when the airline Condor is due to launch three weekly flights to Varadero.

Authorities say foreign visitors will be tested for the coronavirus and that hotels will have medical staff.

Tourism contributes about 10 percent of Cuba’s GDP and employs some 500,000 people in the state tourism sector. Most hotels are owned by the military conglomerate.

In 2019, the number of tourists coming to the island dropped by 9 percent, to about 4.2 million people, due partly to US restrictions on visits by its citizens.

The Cuban Health Ministry says it has recorded 6,062 coronavirus infections and 123 deaths.

Upon relaxing the initially tough restrictions, President Miguel Diaz-Canel said Cubans must “learn to live with the virus.”

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