Jochy Blanco from Tabacalera Palma and La Galera Cigars in Santiago, DR just announced to close the factory tomorrow for almost 3 weeks. In a message to Cigar Journal, he stated:
As you would know, COVID-19 pandemia has arrived to the Dominican Republic and the president has submitted the paperwork to congress to declare state of emergency on March 18. Tabacalera Palma has taken various safety measures to maintain our employees safety and at the same time continue with the production safely.
To start off, we dispatched all of our employees that exceed 60 years of age and employees with respiratory problems, hypertension, and diabetes on March 16. This reduced the factory population by a 20% which allowed us to use the freed up space to establish a 1 meter distance between employees. We have also distributed medical face masks to all of our employees and also installed multiple hand sanitation stations in each one of our areas. On top of all this, all of the factory is being sanitized with chlorine and stations are being sanitized with alcohol, both on a daily basis.
However with the current state of things, we still do not feel this is going to be enough, therefore, we have decided to close the entire factory from March 20 to April 06.
We have enough inventory in Miami and will do our best to assist all of our clients and customers during this unprecedented time.
Our hopes and prayers go out to everyone around the world during this pandemic.