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Cuba drops COVID-19 rules for foreign travelers to boost tourism

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PEDRO PORTAL PPORTAL@MIAMIHERALD.COM
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The Miami Herald
Travelers heading to Cuba are seen at Miami International Airport on Wednesday, December 23, 2021. Cuba is dropping COVID restrictions for international travelers despite new surges around the world. Tourism to the Caribbean island took a big hit during the pandemic.

Travelers going to Cuba will be able to enter the country without showing proof of COVID-19 vaccinations or a negative PCR test, a sudden lifting of restrictions the government announced Wednesday that aims to boost tourism to the island.

The new rules come when the Caribbean island desperately needs cash. Cuba’s economy has hit record low levels of production of food and other goods. The pandemic and U.S. sanctions have also affected tourism and other significant sources of income, such as money sent to Cubans from abroad.

Cubans struggle to buy food as shortages continue, and soaring inflation has pushed up prices. Local media recently reported long lines to purchase gasoline and frequent electricity blackouts. Records from Venezuela’s state oil company, PDVSA, reviewed by Reuters show that Nicolas Maduro’s government, a close Cuban ally, has cut oil shipments to Cuba from almost 44,000 barrels per day to 22,000 in the first quarter of this year.

Read more from our news partner at The Miami Herald.