Latest Cuba News & Travel Alerts
Check out the latest travel related Cuba news.
Current Fuel Crisis in CubaApr 30, 2023
In view of the fuel crisis Cuban authorities announced a group of measures across the country this week, such as:
Prioritizing vital sectors, restricting the sale of both gasoline and diesel to private vehicles and to non-prioritized state services, mandating for State-owned cars to pick up people at bus stops or face prosecution. (Even the Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla is not exempt to the surprise of one of his passengers).
The queues for most Cubans to refuel at the few gas stations in Havana can last several days, in some provinces the sale of gasoline and diesel has been rationed. Some universities have returned to online classes, as students and professors are finding it increasingly difficult to attend classes.
Tour buses are considered as part of the prioritized sector and our tours are not severely affected by the shortages at this stage. (You may experience delays but no cancellations).
Major event - May 1st parade in Revolution Square suspendedApr 25, 2023
The Cuban Government has just announced the suspension of the massive May 1st parade in the capital’s Revolution Square. The mass meeting at the Plaza de la Revolución will be replaced by small marches in the municipalities to be attended on foot, due to the critical situation of fuel shortages. From the triumph of the revolution this is the first time since 1994 that this symbolic celebration has been cancelled outside of 2020 & 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
USD Cash Accepted Again for Deposit at Cuban Banks Apr 10, 2023
Cuban financial and banking institutions are once again accepting cash deposits of US dollars in bank accounts. This move eliminates remaining barriers for locals to use USD and is likely to further increase its acceptance in Cuba. USD and EUR continue to be the most popular foreign currencies in Cuba, for more information read our Money and Currency in Cuba guide.
Banks Now Exchange USDFeb 17 2023
Banks are now accepting USD for exchange, whereas previously this was limited to the Cadeca exchange houses. Read more about money and currency in Cuba here.
QR Code Required for Entry to CubaJan 23 2023
As of January 23, 2023 travellers to Cuba must complete immigration, customs, and health forms on the D'Viajeros website prior to arriving in Cuba. The form becomes available 48 hours in advance, and the QR generated will be shown during the check in process
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.
Post Hurricane UpdateOct 12 2022
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.
Hurricane Ian updateSep 29 2022
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.
Hurricane Ian hits Cuba Sep 28 2022
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.
New Official Exchange RateAug 4, 2022
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
ESTA and Cuba TravelJune 15, 2022
Travellers 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.
Changes to US Travel RulesJune 10, 2022
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.
Mask Requirement EliminatedMay 31, 2022
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.
PCR Requirement EliminatedApr 4, 2022
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.
PCR Requirement Reinstated Jan 4, 2022
Cuba has reinstated the mandatory PCR prior to arrival. Starting January 5th, all travellers 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.
Omicron Border Entry UpdateDec 4, 2021
In response to the Omicron variant, from December 4, Cuba has increased the sanitary precautions for travellers arriving from South Africa and its surrounding countries.
See the full details on our Covid-19 protocols for Cuba page
Cuba Opens its BordersNov 15, 2021
As of today Cuba is open to tourism. International flights have resumed and domestic travel is taking place once again.
To enter Cuba, travellers 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. travellers. US travellers will not be allowed to enter Cuba without full vaccination.
See the full updated Covid entry requirements here.
Cuba has begun to relax Covid restrictionsOct 20, 2021
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.
Cuba Prohibits the use of USDOct 20, 2021
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.
Cuba to gradually open its bordersSep 13, 2021
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 travellers able to show their certificate will not be required to take a PCR prior to arrival. Non-vaccinated travellers must show negative results of a PCR taken no more than 72 hours in advance. PCR tests will be performed only on travellers 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
Cuba Currency Situation UpdateSep 13, 2021
As of June 21, 2021 Cuban financial and banking institutions stopped accepting U.S. dollars until further notice. This means that travellers 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 Convertible Peso (CUC) to be eliminatedJanuary 1, 2021
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.
U.S. Commercial Flights to Provinces EliminatedOctober 25, 2019
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.
Cuba travel rules for US citizens updated againJune 5, 2019
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.
New Trump administration travel rules announcedNov 9, 2017
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:
- The new rules explained
- 6 ways to travel to Cuba that are currently legal
- US Cuba travel expert interviewed about the new travel rules