- Title: Cuban government bans citizens from leaving island, tourists confined to hotels
- Date: 24th March 2020
- Summary: HAVANA, CUBA (MARCH 23, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS, TOURISTS WALKING IN THE STREETS OF HAVANA
- Keywords: COVID-19 Cuba coronavirus measures
- Reuters ID: LVA002C6EUL3B
- Location: HAVANA, CUBA
- City: HAVANA, CUBA
- Country: Cuba
- Duration: 00:00:10
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text: Cuba's government said on Monday (March 23) it was banning Cubans from leaving the country, closing schools and suspending inter-regional public transport in its fight to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
Havana started to seriously ramp up measures last Friday (March 20) when it barred foreign tourists from entering the Caribbean island nation that relies heavily on tourism for hard currency.
Cuba has so far confirmed 40 cases of the virus that originated in China and has since spread worldwide, including one 61-year old Italian tourist who died. Two of those infected are in a critical state, according to the health ministry.
Cubans and foreign residents returning to the island will be able to return home but will have to isolate in camping facilities, college dormitories and other institutions designated by the state for 14 days, he added.
There are currently half a million Cuban residents on the island who are abroad for personal and work reasons, he said.
Marrero said it was partly citizen concerns about hygiene and crowding at school that had prompted the government to suspend classes for three weeks. They would start again on April 20 after Spring Break depending on the status of the coronavirus outbreak.
Cuba was also suspending inter-regional transport, which 22,000 people used each day, and considering what to do with urban transport, which two million Cubans sue each day, Marrero said.
Meanwhile none of the 32,574 tourists still in Cuba would be allowed to leave their hotel from Tuesday (March 24) onwards and all excursions are banned, he said.
(Production: Rodrigo Gutierrez)
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