First Canadian Plane Arrives in Cayo Coco, Cuba September 4, 2020
CoVid 19 in Cuba: A glimmer of Hope with Canadian Visitors
Havana is closed down again for another 15 days of strong curfews and quarantines after another small spike in cases. Cuba’s response is swift and strong in trying to control what seems to be an uncontrollable virus. However, there is also a little glimmer of light.
On Friday, September 4, Cuba welcomed the first plane of Canadian visitors to Cayo Coco in many months. Many are hopeful that more can follow and that Cuba can start to re-open for travelers to visit. Thousands upon thousands are anxiously awaiting the opportunity to get back to work. Artists, musicians, dancers, travel industry workers, taxi drivers, casa owners, restaurant owners, tour guides, travel companies, and all things travel related make up the backbone of the Cuban economy. Cuba has been hit hard, deep and tragically by CoVid 19 and all of us want a return to normalcy there as soon as possible. “Canada has long been Cuba’s most important tourist provider, accounting for 1.1 million of the 4.2 million arrivals in 2019, according to the government. Industry revenues were $2.6 billion last year.” (Source: Global News)
Cuba’s approach is slow, methodical and for good reason. Being an island nation with a vulnerable population of elders and African descendants, Cuba’s officials know there is a lot on the line for them. They understand the gravity of this problem. They know that opening too fast without stringent controls can have devastating consequences for the country. Most of the Cuban people I know there are supportive of the way their government is dealing with the crisis overall. While they ALL want to open and get back to work, they also understand the need for careful contemplation and control during this time.
The country has reported nearly 4,300 COVID-19 cases to date and 100 deaths. Some of the lowest stats to be found anywhere in the world. Of course, there is always the question of accuracy of reporting, the same as with the USA or any country. It is virtually impossible for ANY country to know the true accurate numbers in this crisis.
All of us are awaiting a return to normalcy. Yet, it is critical that each of us becomes responsible in our choices to protect the Cuban people by traveling safely. Be sure that if you choose to travel that you are well, and not bringing unwanted visitors to the island. There will be controls, temperature checks and screenings, so be prepared and stay well for all of us! Cubans want us to return, but they also want to stay safe and well, and above all in Cuba, they value health and well being. Travel safe and smart! Be sure to read our guide here on how to travel safely in Cuba during CoVid.
If you’d like to make a difference in the lives of a Cuban family, please consider joining the Cuban PenPal Project and make a new friend in Cuba.
The United States bans residents from making tourist trips to Cuba as part of its decades-old trade embargo, but U.S. citizens can still travel to the Caribbean island for purposes including education.