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Cuba Readies for “People-to-People” Trips, Zika Virus

By Alexandra Gratereaux
Posted On Mar 16, 2016
Cuba Readies for “People-to-People” Trips, Zika Virus

Obama wants you to visit our neighboring country, Cuba.

So much so, that the Obama administration signed off on “people-to-people” trips, a new deal that encourages Americans to visit the island.

Voice of America is reporting that U.S. citizens will no longer have to sign up for expensive group tours. Still, those visiting must complete a questionnaire stating that they are visiting Cuba for educational purposes.

According to VOA, the new law will assist in filling up commercial flights to Cuba. In the next few weeks, multiple airlines from the United States are slated to begin flights to and from the island.

Other benefits, thanks to this new change in the law, include Cuba being able to sell its products internationally, and Cuban athletes and artists being allowed in the United States for work purposes.

The “people-to-people” law comes just one week before President Barack Obama travels to Cuba to spearhead a large U.S. delegation to Cuba. It is the first time a U.S. president has visited the island in 88 years.

“Today’s amendments build upon President Obama’s historic actions to improve our country’s relationship with Cuba and its people,” said Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew.

While Cuba readies itself for an influx of visitors, it’s also dealing with its first Zika virus case.

On Tuesday evening, Cuban health officials confirmed the first case of the virus in the country, NBC News is reporting.

The person who has been infected is a 21-year-old woman based in Havana, who has not traveled outside of the country. After experiencing headaches, fatigue, and other Zika-related symptoms she was diagnosed and has been hospitalized since Monday.

To combat the virus, Cuba has rounded together 9,000 soldiers along with law enforcement officials and college students, to fumigate the Zika virus mosquitoes and the water where they breed.