Is Cuba open for travel

Is Cuba Open for Travel? [Cuba Covid Travel Restrictions]

Cuba is preparing to open more and ease travel restrictions related to Covid-19 from November 15, 2021.    Mandatory quarantine for international travellers will be removed from November 7th 2021. The island nation actually reopened to international tourism again on 1 July 2020 and has opened cities to tourists at various points since then.  If you are a citizen of a country that is normally allowed to visit Cuba for tourism purposes, then Cuba is open for travel.   In this article we’ll cover the requirements that Cuba has for tourists, any health measures that are in place in Cuba and update this article to answer the question is Cuba open for travel right now?   In this article, you’ll find the latest information about international travel to Cuba, Covid-19 testing requirements for Cuba and Covid-19 vaccination requirements for visiting Cuba.  Content is only supplied from official information from the Cuban Government via their official channels.

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Tourists and visitors from all countries that can usually visit Cuba for tourism are currently able to enter Cuba.  The Cuban Tourist Card and Cuban Tourist Visa requirements are the same.  (Under United States law Americans are not able to travel to Cuba for tourism reasons.) We’ll update this article as information changes, so you can return here for the latest information.

DISCLAIMER:  There may be local restrictions in place in some areas of Cuba.  If you plan to travel around Cuba during your trip you should consult your casa particular or hotel owner.   You should always also consult the country of your citizenship to understand if there are any travel restrictions in place from your home country before travel.

TLDR: Is Cuba Open for Travel?

Yes. 

Cuba is open for travel.   

In this section, we have covered the current restrictions on travelling to Cuba as a result of Covid-19 and then the planned changes as of 15th November 2021.

Current Restrictions and Health Requirements for Travel to Cuba.

October 2021:  Some restrictions have been in place since then including the requirement for pre-flight testing.  Cuba has long required all visitors to have health insurance (read more here) as of 2020 this now must include Covid-19 cover. PCR tests at the arrival airport have also been required.    As of December 2020, all airline tickets to Cuba have included a sanitary fee of US$30 included.  This is to pay for the arrival PCR test.

Arrivals to Cuba also have to complete a health declaration

On arrival, travellers will be transferred to your hotel and you will receive a briefing on isolation rules and further medical checks, which are essentially as follows.

Non-Cuban citizens arriving into Cuba also have to quarantine for either 7 days and 6 nights or 6 days and 5 nights (Havana & Santiago de Cuba) in one of Cuba’s designated “Quarantine Hotels”.   It’s recommended that travellers book the quarantine hotel package before they depart from home.  Travellers also are required to take a second PCR test on their 5th day in Cuba, before leaving their Quarantine Hotel.  If you attempt to pay for the quarantine hotel on arrival (rather than by booking online), then it’s recommended that you bring cash in case your credit card does not work in Cuba.  (Read about Cuban currency and money here)

If your arrival PCR Test is positive then you will be required to go to a hospital or a centre run by Cuba’s Ministry of Public Health.  All costs of the stay in the hospital or centre, as well as any medication costs, must be paid by credit card when you are discharged or your travel insurance company will need to arrange payment.  As your credit cards may not work in Cuba it’s recommended to bring cash – GB pounds, US dollars or Euros to cover your costs.  It’s recommended that the costs will be around US$200 a day. Get medical insurance coverage here.

  • Find out what else you need to do BEFORE you set off for Cuba here
  • Get details of what a Cuban Tourist Card is and how to get one here
  • You can read more details about what else to expect on arrival in Havana here.

Changes to Travel to Cuba from November 7, 2021

Today (19 October 2021) Minister of Tourism, Juan Carlos García Grande announced that as of November 7th 2021 mandatory quarantine for international travellers will be removed.

PCR tests taken within 72 hours before travel will only be required for those who are not vaccinated or who do not have valid vaccination certificates. Children under the age of 12 are exempt from providing vaccination certificates or PCR test results.

Changes to Travel to Cuba from November 15, 2021

However, things have just got a whole lot easier when it comes to travelling to Cuba during Covid. As Cuba plans to have vaccinated more than 90% of the population against Covid-19 the country is being prepared to gradually open the country’s borders by mid-November 2021.  The Cuban Government plan is to vaccinate all citizens above the age of 2 years.  Here’s the Cuban Government announcement.

As of the 15th November 2021, proof of vaccination will be required upon arrival.  There will be no mandatory PCR test required either before travel or on arrival for vaccinated visitors to Cuba.

Authorities will be on hand at the airport and *may* undertake random PCR tests.

Completion of a Health Declaration (Declaración Jurada de Salud) will continue to be required for all travellers.

Tourists who are not vaccinated will have to present a negative PCR test which has been carried out within 72 hours of arrival in Cuba.

Children under the age of 12 are exempted from these requirements. 

As of November 15th 2021, there is no requirement for tourists (regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not) to spend time in Cuba’s Quarantine Hotels.

As of November 15th 2021, all Cuba’s airports will reopen and commercial flights will resume.  You can read more about Cuba’s Government’s plans here.

Restrictions and Mandatory Health Requirements in Place within Cuba

Cuba has implemented contact-tracing and testing and precautionary measures recommended by the World Health Organization. 

Face masks are mandatory in all public areas, which includes public transport. 

NOTE:  It’s recommended that you bring supplies of your own soap, hand sanitiser, disinfectant wipes and face masks.  It may not be possible to purchase these in Cuba.

Where can I find official Government Sources of Information on Travel to Cuba?

We will continue to update this article on whether it’s possible to travel to Cuba when restrictions change, however, here are the official government sites and sources of information.

FAQS on Travelling to Cuba during the Coronavirus pandemic

Got questions about travelling to Cuba during Covid? Check out our frequently asked questions about travel in Cuba during Covid below, or ask us yours in the comments.

Can I Travel to Cuba Right Now?

Yes.  It is possible to travel to Cuba right now.    There are some restrictions in place and requirements for testing for visitors, but it is possible to travel to Cuba for tourist purposes.

What are the restrictions and requirements in place for travelling to Cuba concerning Covid-19?

As of October 10, 2021, and until November 15, 2021, the requirements for travelling to Cuba are as follows:

  • All visitors must have proof of a negative PCR test obtained within 72 hours of arrival in Cuba
  • Valid travel and medical insurance with COVID-19 coverage.
  • All international visitors must undergo a mandatory PCR test on arrival in Cuba
  • Visitors must self-isolate at a Cuban Government Quarantine Hotel that they must self-fund for 7 days and 6 nights (or 6 days and 5 nights if the arrival is into Havana or Santiago de Cuba).   
  • A second PCR test must be taken on Day 5 of their arrival in Cuba.  If the test is negative then they may then leave the quarantine hotel.

Is a PCR test mandatory for visitors to Cuba

Yes.  A pre-flight PCR test is currently required to visit Cuba.  A mandatory PCR test is also required on arrival in Cuba, the cost of US$30 should be included as a “sanitary fee” in the price of your flight.

Is Travel Insurance Mandatory to enter Cuba?

Yes, travel insurance with health cover has been mandatory in Cuba for some years.  It is not necessary to have Covid-19 health cover to enter Cuba.  Read our guide to travel insurance for Cuba here – or get a quote for Cuban travel insurance with Covid-19 coverage here.

Are Cuba’s Airports Open to Tourists?

Yes, Cuba’s airports are open to tourists visiting Cuba.

Can I travel around Cuba Right Now?

It depends.  There are some restrictions on travelling between areas of Cuba.   You’ll find the latest information on restrictions from the Cuban government here.

Are hotels in Cuba open now?

Yes, hotels in Cuba are open right now.  There are some requirements for the hotel to maintain sanitary standards.

Are casa particulares in Cuba open now?

Casa particulares are private homestays and private accommodation in Cuba.   (Read more about Casa Particulares here).  Many casa particulares in Cuba are open and operating for tourism.

Are cafes and restaurants open in Cuba?

Yes, restaurants and cafes are open in Cuba.  They may be open to 30% – 50% capacity at this time.   The regulations that Cuban restaurants must comply with are here.  Check with your casa particular owner for any local closures.

Are Viazul Buses operating in Cuba?

Yes, the Viazul bus service has now resumed and is available for booking.  There are some fabulous changes to the November 2021 changes to Viazul – including buses that visit Havana Airport, Varadero Airport and Holguin Airport too! Read our UPDATED for November 2021 guide to the Viazul Bus service here and it’s always best to check locally on arrival if anything has changed.

Where can I get a PCR test in Cuba to return home?

If you are required to get a PCR test in Cuba before your flight home, then you can take a PCR Test at Clínica Internacional Camilo Cienfuegos and Clínica Internacional Siboney (information in Spanish) in Havana.

Final Words on Restrictions on Travelling To Cuba during Covid-19

You should always check official government sources when considering travel to Cuba.   However, travel to Cuba right now is possible and as of November 15th, 2021 it’s going to get a lot easier.   We’ll update this post with any official sources of changes to restrictions in Cuba, as well as Covid-19 testing requirements and Covid-19 vaccination requirements for visiting Cuba.

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