Cuba Reopened to All Foreign Tourists: Here’s What You Should Know!

Cuba Reopened to All International Tourists: Here’s What You Should Know!

With free COVID-19 testing to match.

In case you’re thinking of where to spend your next holiday in a pandemic-stricken world, Cuba isn’t a bad idea. With approximately 8,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 7,400 recoveries as of writing, the country has done a more efficient job in containing the virus than most. It wasn’t a surprise when Cuba started welcoming foreign tourists again as early as July in selected areas, namely Cayo Largo Del Sur, Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, Cayo Santa María, and Cayo Cruz

Recently, Cuba has also reopened Varadero to foreign tourists, along with Havana and the rest of the country this November. 

Also read: Top 10 Beautiful Streets In The World To Fill Your Instagram Grid!

What you should know

Image credit: Spencer Everett

Cuba welcomes all foreign tourists from any country, with regular visa requirements still in place. In consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic, travellers need not fill up any travel form before arriving in Cuba except for a health declaration, which will be distributed by one’s chosen airline or which travellers can print and fill out ahead of time. 

Do foreign tourists need to undergo COVID-19 testing?

Foreign tourists arriving in Cuba are required to be tested for COVID-19 at the airport (no need to acquire a negative PCR result before arrival). Travellers are then asked to wait at their hotel for approximately 24 hours until their results are released. If the traveller tests negative, he or she will no longer need to quarantine further and may start their adventure in Cuba.

In the event that a foreign tourist tests positive

Foreign tourists exhibiting symptoms will be taken to a medical facility unit or hospital with a highly specialised medical team that will guarantee the traveller a speedy recovery. 

On the other hand, asymptomatic foreign tourists will need to be isolated in specialised hotel facilities converted into hospitals. Anyone who has had contact with a traveller who has tested positive will be put under isolation in his or her hotel, and under special surveillance. They will not be allowed contact with any other hotel guest until they test negative for a second PCR test. 

Is there a fee for COVID-19 testing at Cuba’s airports?

According to the Cuba Tourism Board, the COVID-19 testing at the country’s airports is free for everyone. In an interview with Travel Off Path, CTB representative Nieves Ricardo had this to say: “The Covid test at the airport in Cuba is free and it will continue to be free for everyone. There is a health fee under negotiation with the airlines to cover a few things, but this will be included in the ticket price, it will never be charged in person at the airport.”

That said, foreign tourists still need to secure travel insurance that covers COVID-19 if they want to visit Cuba. In case the traveller fails to present travel insurance, he or she can buy a policy at the airport worth US$30 (S$40.15).

What are Cuba’s health and safety protocols?

Wearing a face mask and following social distancing measures in public areas are required by law; the same rules are recommended in closed spaces. Failure to abide by these health protocols is tantamount to harsh penalties. 

Foreign tourists may take comfort in the fact that all Cuban hotels now have specialised in-house medical teams which are composed of a General Practitioner, epidemiologists, and nurses to ensure an early response and detection of COVID-19. 

Also read: How I Spent My Two Weeks in Cuba

With relatively low COVID-19 cases and a no-quarantine rule for those who test negative upon arrival, Cuba sounds like a sweet holiday deal to kiss 2020 goodbye. Do note though, that it’s always better to get tested for COVID-19 prior to your Cuban holiday despite the fact that Cuba only requires testing upon arrival. With that said, we hope to see more foreign tourists discover this charming country in the year to come!

Featured image credit: Augustin de Montesquiou | Unsplash

About Author

Therese Sta. Maria
Therese Sta. Maria

Therese's close friends know that if they haven’t seen her around recently, then she’s probably having an adventure with her luggage and camera in hand. Though she loves staying at home and spending lazy afternoons with friends, there are times when she has to be "away from home to feel at home," — that’s when she’s bitten by the travel bug. See her travels on Instagram @reesstamaria.


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