Cuba has sealed its borders from today to guard against the spread of the COVID-19. Cuba’s Prime Minister Manuel Marrero said that all tourists still in hotels will be placed in quarantine and they cannot leave the hotel until they find a flight home. Mr Marrero said that there were 32,500 holidaymakers from overseas on the Caribbean island till yesterday.
Of the 32,500 tourists already on the island, 9,400 are staying in homestays. According to the government, they will be moved to state-run hotels.
Some of them rushed to the airport in Havana, anxious about their chances of finding a flight. Many flights are already full and carriers have started cancelling routes.
Economically crippled by US sanctions, Cuba is largely dependent on its tourism revenue.
The country has so far counted 40 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
Car rentals and tour excursions have also been cancelled.
The prime minister has banned the entry of new tourists and added that almost all hotels on the island would be closed.
Authorities yesterday also announced one-month-long school closures, an unprecedented move not seen since the 1959 revolution made education and health two of the country’s main pillars.