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Havana stirs to life without tourists and amid scarcity

作者:admin 2020-07-05

The Cuban capital stirred to life on Friday after more than three months of lockdown, but there were no signs of tourists on Havana's quiet streets while residents fretted about shortages of food and other basic goods.

The city of 2.2 million people on the Caribbean coast is the last of Cuba's provinces to enter phase one of a three-phase process to a new normal. All but one other province began phase two on Friday.

Havana's residents were able once again to use public transportation and private taxis, go to the beach and other outdoor recreation centres, and enjoy the city's famed Malecon seafront drive.

Cuba closed its airports in March and, while some hotels are open at resorts on isolated islets, there is no indication when Havana and other cities might allow foreign visitors to return.

"It is like breathing little by little the clean air we have missed," said veterinarian Norma Hernandez, who rents a room to tourists to make ends meet. "From the economic point of view, the pandemic has been terrible for me, but I hope everything will return to normal."

For months, the once-bustling capital seemed haunted with little traffic and no nightlife. Gloomy residents trudged in search of supplies, often waiting for hours to buy them.

Havana Cuba

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