Two of the largest premium cigar factories in the Dominican Republic are shutting down due to the Coronavirus outbreak, joining a group of other cigarmakers who closed earlier this week. Tabacalera de Garcia Ltd. and General Cigar Dominicana announced today that they are closing as a precautionary measure against the pandemic.
Tabacalera de Garcia, which is owned by Imperial Brands PLC via its subsidiary Tabacalera U.S.A., is responsible for making a host of cigar brands such as the non-Cuban versions of Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta and H. Upmann. The factory produces 33 to 35 million handmade cigars per year.
“Tabacalera de Garcia is closing for two weeks starting today,” said Rafael Nodal, head of product capability for Tabacalera U.S.A. “The health and well-being of our employees and partners is our most important priority. We will continue to evaluate the situation and take steps accordingly.”
General Cigar Dominicana isn’t closing down for quite as long. Owned by Scandinavian Tobacco Group, via its subsidiary General Cigar Co., this factory will be closing for five days.
“Following the declaration of national emergency announced on Tuesday, March 17 by President Danilo Medina, we have ordered a five-day recess across our handmade cigar production to further implement precautionary measures relating to social distancing and hand hygiene,” read an official statement from General Cigar. “All other production in the Dominican Republic continues until further notice.”