Cuba Strengthens Border Controls Given the Rebound in Coronavirus Infections

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Cuba strengthened border controls on Wednesday to curb the growing wave of coronavirus infections and thus keep the doors of its vital tourism industry open.

The country will now require both a negative PCR within 72 hours and proof of vaccination for all visitors, although authorities have said they will continue to welcome tourists and keep children in school.

Previously, Cuba only required the vaccination card for most travelers.

On Tuesday, 967 daily cases were registered, which represents an increase of more than 10 times since the weeks before Christmas, when new infections were less than 100 a day, that is, only 1% of its pandemic peak. August 22. However, deaths from the virus have not increased.

Cuba detected its first case of the rapidly spreading omicron variant in early December, and the numbers have risen since then.

At a high-level government meeting late Tuesday, health authorities said they expect an increase in cases, but not in deaths, thanks to the country’s high vaccination rate.

The communist-ruled country is among those with the highest vaccination rate in the world. More than 92% of its population has received at least one injection of their local inoculations, and more than 85% have a complete plan, according to “Our World in Data.”

Cuba has already started a booster campaign and said last week that it hoped to cover the entire country with the additional vaccine by the end of January.

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