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Offbeat The terraces of the Havana revive after nine months of closing

11:05  25 september  2021
11:05  25 september  2021 Source:   france24.com

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Des Cubains à la terrasse d'un restaurant, le jour de leur réouverture, le 24 septembre 2021 à La Havane © Yamil Lage of the Cubans on the terrace of a restaurant, the day of their reopening, on 24 September 2021 in the Havana

sitting on the terrace with two friends facing Ice balls, which she dreamed for nine months, Himilcie Ruiz shows a big smile: "We are very happy with the reopening" restaurants of Havana, she ensures.

Thursday evening and almost surprise, the Cuban authorities announced the "progressive" reopening, the next day, restaurants and bars in a large part of the country, as well as legal and notarial services, all closed since January due to the Pandemic of coronavirus.

Himilcie, a student in Odontology of 22, wanted to take advantage of it on Friday morning.

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"With these new measures, we can enjoy a little more, always paying attention, protecting us with a mask and keeping our distances," she rejoiced, dressed in her white coat like her comrades, a usual practice of Doctors and medical students in the streets of Cuba.

Des Cubains à la terrasse d'un restaurant, le jour de leur réouverture, le 24 septembre 2021 à La Havane © Yamil Lage Cubans on the terrace of a restaurant, the day of their reopening, on September 24, 2021 in Havana

This reopening is justified by the "successful vaccination process", said the Minister of Commerce Interior, Betsy Diaz, but also the need for an "economic recovery", added the governor of Havana, Reynaldo Garcia Zapata.

It is a first step before Cuba reopens in large doors to foreign tourists, from November 15th.

- Glacier stormed -

Cuba, faced with a rise in contagions at COVID-19 for two months, accumulates 839,981 cases including 7.695 deaths. Already 42.8% of its 11.2 million people are immunized with locally developed vaccines, not recognized by WHO, with the goal of exceeding 90% by November.

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In 18 months of pandemic, the country went through several closing phases and reopening public places. But everything stayed closed since last January 14, with curfew included, enough to tire the population.

Une rue de La Havane, le 17 septembre 2021 à Cuba © Yamil Lage A rue de la Havane, September 17, 2021 in Cuba

Friday, the most famous glacier of the island, Coppelia, in the Vedado district, was stormed by the guests, many to do the tail.

In recent months, they could only take out, now they can sit at the shaded terrace ... if they have booked first by phone, a mechanism that surprises while the place is a classic Improvised meeting place between students at the University of Havana, nearby.

The restaurants and bars allowed to reopen must comply with a health inspection and can only accommodate customers only 50% of their capacity. They must also respect a sufficient space between the tables and maintain the obligation of the wearing of the mask, which also remains rigorous in the streets.

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In the "MI Garden" state restaurant, employees clean and prepare the tables before opening. Eduardo Carbonel, 49, the butler, explains to employees health measures to be respected but also "the new prices" to be applied.

- "Everything is complicated" -

Car Cuba has seen its worst economic crisis since 1993, because of the lack of tourists and strengthening the American embargo. This forced it to drastically reduce its imports, aggravating the shortages of food and medicine.

Added to this is a monetary reform that has resulted in inflation, a hard blow for Cuban families.

"Here everything is complicated because of the situation of the country, but we try to overcome that as much as we can," says Yurisbel Paneque, 40, one of the officials of the private restaurant Rey & Gaby, where Himilcie And his friends are attached.

Un Cubain transporte des sacs sur son vélo dans une rue de La Havane, le 30 août 2021 © Yamil Lage A Cuban carries bags on his bike in a rue de la Havana, on 30 August 2021

"We tried to search by all means, passing contracts with state-owned enterprises to We provide products "for the restaurant, does it tell the middle of the tables filled with customers.

Monday came into force law allowing small and medium-sized, public and private, expected small businesses for years.

Many of these restaurants are expected to take the footstep, and must apply to the notary.

at the Notarial Street Cabinet 23 and J, the greatest in the capital, "the public affluence (the public) has already taken over," says Alexis Sanchez, 51, the administrator.

"Here all notarial services are provided: wills, powers, purchases and sales of housing and vehicles, declarations on honor", so many procedures paralyzed for months and finally restart.

CB / KA / AM

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