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Cuba began a staggered tourism reopening process on Friday with restrictions on restaurants, shopping centers and beaches in areas with low coronavirus transmission rates being lifted.
According to Reuters.com, the Cuban government is easing lockdown restrictions as it prepares for its tourism high season, with officials announcing additional flights to the island and new testing protocols to make it easier for international travelers to visit.
Starting on November 15, the Caribbean nation will begin accepting COVID-19 vaccination certificates for inbound travelers instead of the previously required negative PCR test.
The Cuban government selected 533 businesses that will be permitted to reopen to in-person service, including 315 restaurants. The country is also working with the World Health Organization (WHO) to start the evaluation process toward officially recognizing its vaccines.
Cuba is currently dealing with shortages of medicines, a decline in aid from Venezuela, the tightening of decades-old U.S. sanctions and the reduction of tourism revenue.
Earlier this month, ministry officials predicted “more than 90 percent of the entire population will complete vaccination schedules” by November. “Sanitary hygienic protocols will be relaxed” upon travelers’ arrival, with protocols focused on “the surveillance of symptomatic patients and temperature-taking.”