HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba rolled out the red carpet on Friday for the first planeload of vacationers to get there on the Communist-run island in months as it struggles toward a submit-pandemic new normalcy.
The import-dependent region has been plunged into crisis and scarcity by hard U.S. sanctions and the COVID-19 outbreak.
The arrival was seen as a hopeful indication for tens of countless numbers of laid-off leisure marketplace staff, shuttered modest businesses and difficult-pressed residents in typical.
An Air Canada aircraft arrived at midday at the Cayo-Coco airport on the northcentral coast. Air Canada Vacations, the airline’s tour business enterprise, said it would now fly weekly to Cuba and biweekly commencing following thirty day period.
Cuba shut its airports in March because of to the pandemic. Though some hotels are open up beneath international sanitary laws at resorts in isolated locations these as Cayo-Coco, there is no indicator when Havana and other towns may possibly allow for foreign guests to return.
Cuba has managed to management the pandemic in most of the region. But it is at present hoping to contain a new outbreak in Havana, together with lesser outbreaks in a several other provinces.
The place has documented just about 4,300 COVID-19 circumstances to date and 100 fatalities.
Canada has extended been Cuba’s most critical tourist company, accounting for 1.1 million of the 4.2 million arrivals in 2019, according to the govt.
Market revenues have been $2.6 billion very last year.
The United States bans inhabitants from producing vacationer outings to Cuba as element of its many years-aged trade embargo, but U.S. citizens can even now journey to the Caribbean island for functions such as schooling.
(Reporting by Marc Frank Enhancing by Tom Brown)
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