Tourists wearing masks as a precaution against the spread of the new coronavirus, wait in line for their flights home, at the…
Tourists wearing masks as a precaution against the spread of the new coronavirus, wait in line for their flights home, at the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuba, Monday, March 23, 2020.

Cuba is launching its most restrictive measures Tuesday to stop the spread of the coronavirus- banning citizens from leaving the island without authorization and placing foreign tourists under quarantine. 

Prime Minister Manuel Marrero said in a televised address Monday that just over 32 thousand tourists will have to stay in hotels until they secure a flight home.  

Cuba had resisted imposing the restrictions because tourism is the lifeblood of the island nation's economy.  

Authorities in Cuba on Monday also announced schools and universities will close. 

Cuba's Ministry of Public Health on Monday confirmed 40 cases of the virus and doctors are monitoring more than 37- thousand other Cubans showing symptoms similar to the coronavirus. 

So far, Cuba has confirmed one death, an Italian tourist.  

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