Cuba to Reopen for Tourism in November
Travel restrictions will be eased across Cuba on November 15. All airports will reopen and commercial flights will resume, just in time for peak season.
Visitors flying to Cuba will no longer have to show a recent PCR test if they are fully vaccinated and can prove it with an official vaccination certificate. Those who aren’t vaccinated must still provide a negative result of a PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival to Cuba.
The decision comes as the government predicts that most of the population will be fully vaccinated by mid-November. “Taking into account the progress in the vaccination process in Cuba, its demonstrated effectiveness and the perspective that more than 90% of the entire population will conclude the vaccination schedules in November; conditions are being prepared to gradually open the country’s borders as of November 15, 2021,” the tourism ministry said in a statement as reported by Lonely Planet.
Macías Rutes, the tourism ministry’s director of operations, said the government will focus on “the surveillance of symptomatic patients and temperature-taking.” In addition, diagnostic tests will be carried out randomly at the airport. If a patient tests positive for COVID-19, they will be transferred to a hotel-hospital. These will be tourist facilities authorized by the government for isolation and medical care.
Americans travel to Cuba, except for explicit tourism purposes. The 12 categories of authorized travel to Cuba are: family visits; official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations; journalistic activity; professional research and professional meetings; educational activities; religious activities; public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions; support for the Cuban people; humanitarian projects; activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes; exportation, importation, or transmission of information or informational materials; and certain authorized export transactions. The twelve categories are known as “general license” travel.
U.S. credit and debit cards do not work in Cuba. The Cuban Central Bank announced new restrictions on the use or conversion of U.S. dollars beginning June 21, 2021. U.S. dollars in cash cannot be converted to local currency, may not be accepted for payment, and cannot be used to pay fees or taxes at the airport. See more info here.