Update situation in Cuba

Update situation in Cuba

Update situation in Cuba

Time for an update!
It is time for an update on the situation in Cuba, in this blog I will inform you about the following points.

The COVID situation in Cuba
The vaccination status in Cuba
The protests of July
The monetary change in Cuba
The near future

The COVID situation in Cuba

While Cuba handled the pandemic very well in the beginning by closing its borders for 8 months and had almost no new daily cases or deaths, they fell short in reopening the borders in November 2020. Mistakes were made and COVID was caused by international travelers back to the island. The number of cases rose very quickly and last month was a record high of about 9,000 to 10,000 new cases per day. The situation turned bad and Cuba struggled to keep things under control.

The number of new cases per day has fallen again thanks to Cuba’s vaccination strategy, but they still have a lot of work to do.

The vaccination status in Cuba

Cuba began work on its own vaccine almost immediately after the pandemic began. They came up with 3 different vaccines that have been approved by the Cuban authorities. Vaccination started in May 2021 with medical personnel and in July with the rest of the population of Cuba.

The vaccines are effective with efficacy of up to 92%. However, people need to get 3 shots to achieve this effectiveness.

At the moment they make about 200-220,000 shots a day.*
In total, 15 million vaccines have been used in Cuba.
6.1 million (54%) people have received their first injection.
4.9 million (43%) people have received their 2nd injection.
4.1 million (36%) people have received their 3th injection.
Taking into account that they started in May 2021, we can conclude that they are moving very fast with their campaign to vaccinate 98% of their people by November.
Children from 2 years old are also vaccinated, the 98% means that almost all Cubans are vaccinated.

*Date of writing September 2021

The protests in July

“Massive anti-government demonstrations in Cuba,” that’s what the media said, or what you could read on social media. In no time, thousands of images and videos were sent around the world. Cuba was the center of attention as demonstrating is not something that happens in Cuba and certainly not against the government.

The truth is a little different from what you might have read or seen on the news. There were demonstrations and the Cuban people were rightly angry with the government, times are difficult in Cuba right now. However, the protests lasted only one day, maybe two, and then everything returned to normal. The protests were mostly organized from outside Cuba in an attempt to destroy Cuba.

Cuba is far from perfect, but they are currently in the worst crisis and they are doing the best they can, but it is impossible to do everything flawlessly or to keep everyone happy.

People going to Cuba in the near future will not notice the protests that took place in July.

The monetary change in Cuba

In our previous update (NOV ’20) I already discussed the new system. The CUC is no longer in use and the CUP is now the only currency in Cuba. The official exchange rate is still 1 USD = +/- 24/25 CUP. However, on the street the exchange rate is a lot higher 1 USD = +/- 60 CUP because the locals want foreign money so they can buy products in the special government “foreign money shops”.

The other change was that Cuba wants to make more use of credit card payments, so they put more credit card machines in different locations. For example, gas stations where you can now only pay with a credit card or prepaid card.

The near future

Now that you’re aware of Cuba’s current COVID and vaccination status, as well as past changes or protests, it’s time to talk about the near future.

The Ministry of Tourism released a statement that, if their vaccination strategy goes according to plan, Cuba will reopen to international tourism from November 15.

As of this date, there will be NO quarantine or PCR testing requirements for fully vaccinated people, and travel to other provinces will be allowed again, meaning customers will be able to tour Cuba again!

In short :
PCR test on arrival for fully vaccinated clients is no longer necessary.
Vaccination certificates from travelers are accepted.
Traveling between provinces is possible again.
Unvaccinated people must still have a negative PCR test — no older than 72 hours — upon arrival in Cuba.

At the airport, they will check the temperature, and if people arrive with symptoms of COVID, they should take a quick test to see if they are positive or not.

This date gives us perspective, a light at the end of a very long dark tunnel!

We are ready and looking forward to welcoming your customers back to Cuba, and since many countries are still closed to international tourism, we should definitely take this opportunity with both hands and let as many travel-hungry customers as possible go to Cuba!

Casa-particular.nl is fully ready to take care of your bookings.

We will keep you informed of further developments via social media and blogs.

We are closely monitoring progress and if we have any signals that the opening is being postponed I will let you know immediately.
Keep in mind that things can always change for the worse.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Jos Goedkoop    Update situation in Cuba Update situation in CubaUpdate situation in Cuba