Cuba relaxes anti-COVID measures for the entry of travelers

Cuba elimina obligatoriedad de prueba negativa de COVID

HAVANA, April 4 The Cuban Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) announced that as of Wednesday, April 6, the International Sanitary Control regulations that were applied at the island’s airports to stop the spread of coronavirus.The obligatory presentation of a negative PCR test or antigen test, carried out in the country of origin, is eliminated as a requirement to enter the country.

Travelers will not be required to present a full vaccination certificate.

The note released by the MINSAP adds that “sample collection for the study of SARS CoV-2 (free) will be maintained randomly from travelers at the points of entry into the country, taking into account the number of flights, the entry of vessels and the epidemiological risk represented by the country of origin.

If the sample taken at the airport is positive, the health authorities will proceed, according to the protocols approved in Cuba, for the clinical-epidemiological control of COVID-19.

The official note warns that the mandatory use of the mask is maintained at all points of entry into the country, as well as the measures implemented “that guarantee social distancing and the disinfection of hands and surfaces.”

The MINSAP specified that the aforementioned relaxation is carried out taking into account “the international and national epidemiological situation of COVID-19 and the levels of immunization achieved.”

Although most countries in the world have made health control at their borders more flexible, most maintain the presentation of negative tests or vaccination certificates, both measures that Cuba has just eliminated.

This Monday, the Cuban health authorities reported 619 new coronavirus infections and one death from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.

The announcement of the imminent relaxation of sanitary measures in Cuba takes place when last week a report from Granma warned that in the coming weeks the cases of confirmed and hospitalized patients with coronavirus could increase.

Daniel González Rubio, Doctor of Science and specialist at the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine, said that infections may increase due to the presence of the new Ómicron variant, BA.2, although he indicated that -thanks to the immunization of the population- serious and critical cases and deaths should maintain a downward trend.

At the end of March, health authorities admitted at a government meeting that Cuba is registering a slight rebound in people infected with COVID-19, mainly in the provinces of Sancti Spíritus, Ciego de Ávila, Holguín, and Santiago de Cuba.

The news was announced at a meeting of the government’s working group to confront the pandemic, which -based in the Palace of the Revolution and linked by videoconference with all the territories- headed by Miguel Díaz-Canel, who sent a review of the measures in each province and tighten control, as well as speed up the administration of the booster vaccine.