Latest Cuba News & Travel Alerts

Check out the latest travel related Cuba news.

Tourist Card Now Valid for 90 DaysNov 7 2022

As of Nov 1, 2022 the tourist card, also known as the tourist visa, is valid for a stay of 90 days and can be renewed for an additional 90 day stay. There are no changes to the price. 

Damage from Hurricane Ian has been sufficiently repaired to allow travel to proceed as normal throughout the island. Although Viñales, in the hardest hit Pinar del Rio province, sustained damage to its trees and crops, the guesthouses and restaurants are up and running. Travellers who have visited post-hurricane have enjoyed their stay.

The National Electricity System (SEN) has been able to restore services to 12 provinces around the country.

Electricity has been restored to some zones of Havana: Centro Habana, Habana Vieja, Habana del Este y Cotorro.

Power has also been restored to the provinces of Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Villa Clara, Sancti Spíritus, Ciego de Ávila, Camagüey, Las Tunas, Holguín, Granma, Santiago de Cuba y Guantánamo.

For the moment due to the severe damage suffered in Western Cuba, this province remains without electricity.

On Tuesday Hurricane Ian made landfall in Cuba’s Pinar del Rio province. Officials set up 55 shelters and evacuated 50,000 people, steps were taken to protect tobacco crops. Ian made landfall as a Category 3 storm on the island’s western end, devastating Pinar del Río province.

Hurricane Ian also knocked out electricity to the entire island when it hit the island’s western tip as a major storm.

The Energy and Mines Ministry announced it had restored energy to three regions by activating two large power plants and brigades from around the country  are working in other regions.

Cuban Banks and Exchange houses have begun purchasing major foreign currencies (including USD) at 120CUP:1USD, five times the previous official rate. ATM and credit card transactions are still at the 25CUP:1USD rate. Eventually the Cuban government will begin to sell foreign currency, but no date has been announced. Read more

Travelers who fly from Cuba to the US are reporting that their Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is being revoked without opportunity to appeal. The ESTA website has not yet reported this change officially, but we recommend that ESTA travellers avoid travel between the US and Cuba. 

The Biden Administration announced the elimination of restrictions on commercial and charter flights to Cuba and has facilitated more categories of legal travel for US travellers, including reinstating group people to people travel. Read more here.

As of May 31, 2022 Cuba is no longer requiring masks to be worn in public places except for medical facilities. Persons experiencing symptoms of Covid or other illnesses are still required to wear masks. Masks are encouraged for large gatherings where social distancing cannot be maintained. You will still need to bring masks in case rules change during your visit. 

Cuba has removed the COVID test and vaccine certificate requirements for entry, effective immediately. They will continue with random testing in the airport (no cost). In order to keep our guides, casa staff, and other tour participants safe, Cuban Adventures maintains the requirement for certification of vaccination and a negative rapid test prior to joining the tour. See full details of Cuba’s Covid-19 entry requirements here.

Cuba has reinstated the mandatory PCR prior to arrival. Starting January 5th, all travelers 13 and older must show negative PCR result taken no more than 72 hours in advance of arrival in addition to proof of vaccination (or certified medical exemption). A PCR test at arrival will be given to anyone displaying symptoms and also for random checks. See full details of Cuba’s Covid-19 entry requirements here.

In response to the Omicron variant, from December 4, Cuba has increased the sanitary precautions for travelers arriving from South Africa and its surrounding countries.

See the full details on our Covid-19 protocols for Cuba page

As of today Cuba is open to tourism. International flights have resumed and domestic travel is taking place once again.

To enter Cuba, travelers aged 12 and older must show proof of vaccination. If they do not show proof of vaccination, they are required to show a negative PCR test result taken no more than 72 hours before arrival, except for U.S. travelers. US travelers will not be allowed to enter Cuba without full vaccination.

See the full updated Covid entry requirements here.

As the vaccinated population rises, and the number of Covid cases and deaths begin to fall, Cuba is loosening many of its restrictions:

  • Starting November 7, the quarantine requirement will be eliminated
  • Vaccinated travelers able to show their certificate will not be required to take a PCR prior to arrival. All international vaccines will be recognized.
  • Non-vaccinated travelers must show negative results of a PCR taken no more than 72 hours in advance.
  • Children under 12 years old will not be required to show vaccination certificate or have a negative PCR test.
  • PCR tests will be performed only on travelers displaying symptoms and there will also be random PCR testing at the airport. Travelers showing symptoms will be taken to a health institution and tested.
  • Masks will be required in the airport and throughout the country, as will social distancing, temperature checks and other hygienic measures.
  • Owners of casa particulares will be required to report symptoms to health authorities.
  • To board a plane in Cuba, travelers must show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR taken less than 72 hours in advance.
  • Restaurants, nightclubs, museums, cultural venues, beaches, pools, and other recreation locations have all opened at limited capacity and curfews have been removed.
  • Ground transportation will resume but domestic flights do not yet have a plan to resume service.

The government has prohibited the use of US dollars in Cuba, all other currencies are permitted for exchange to the Cuban Peso (CUP or MN) such as Canadian dollars, Euros, British Pounds, Mexican Pesos, etc.

Tourists can obtain MLC cards in Cadecas (exchange houses) at airports, ports, and touristic areas. MLC (Money Libremente Convertible) means foreign currency. EUR and GBP are the most popular currencies to convert. These prepaid cards can be used to pay for goods and services throughout Cuba and remaining funds can be returned to the travelers when they leave the country. The cards expire two years from when they were issued.

Expect food and drink prices to be somewhat increased (30-50%) from what they were prior to the pandemic and unification of the dual currency system.

The government of Cuba has announced that the reopening of borders internationally and domestically will begin on November 15, 2021 based on the presumption that they will have fully vaccinated 90% of the population by then.

  • PCR testing on arrival will be random instead of required, and based on the presence of symptoms
  • Vaccinated travelers able to show their certificate will not be required to take a PCR prior to arrival. Non-vaccinated travelers must show negative results of a PCR taken no more than 72 hours in advance. PCR tests will be performed only on travelers displaying symptoms and there may also be random PCR testing at the airport.
  • Temperature checks will still be required
  • Quarantine requirements will be lifted
  • Luggage restrictions will be lifted in all ports of arrival, check with your airline about luggage requirements
  • Restrictions limiting interprovincial travel will resume as well

As of June 21, 2021 Cuban financial and banking institutions stopped accepting U.S. dollars until further notice. This means that travelers should plan to bring other currencies, such as GBP, EUR, CAD to exchange for CUP. In 2020 Cuba took measures to reunite its dual currencies, eliminating the CUC and keeping the CUP whose value was set at 24CUP:1USD. The actual value of the CUP is much lower (currently around 60CUP:1USD) due to current inflation but the currency situation could change drastically once tourism resumes and there is an influx of foreign capital. You can read more about money in Cuba here .

Cuba’s dual currency system is being eliminated, which may lead to price fluctuations. The CUC will be eliminated and the Cuban peso (CUP) will be fixed to the US dollar at 24:1. Read more about money in Cuba here.

 

Further changes were made by the Trump administration to eliminate commercial flights, but only to the provinces, e.g. Santiago de Cuba, Camaguey. Commercial flights to Havana are still available on all major airlines.Read more about flights between the US and Cuba here.

Further changes were made by the Trump administration to travel laws regarding visits to Cuba. Cruise ship visits were banned and the category of legal travel called "People-to-People" was eliminated. Legal travel to Cuba for US citizens is still quite simple however. Read a full explanation.

The much awaited changes to the OFAC regulations for legal travel to Cuba by US citizens was finally implemented today, with the new rules being immediately applicable. Here are some useful links that provide details and an analysis of the implications:

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