Travel to Cuba has always been tricky, especially for Americans. Today, new Cuba travel restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic make things even more complicated — but far from impossible.
The guide below covers everything you need to know about traveling to Cuba during the age of COVID-19. Read on to learn about how the island has dealt with the pandemic, what travelers need to provide, and more.
No one knows a place like the people who live there. For the most up-to-date info on Cuba travel, connect with a Cuban local. Learn more.
Once you’ve read our guide about Americans traveling to Cuba, you’re probably wondering two things. One, what are the coronavirus travel restrictions in Cuba at the moment? And two, is Cuba even safe to visit?
At the beginning of the pandemic, COVID-19 cases in Cuba were fairly low. Cuba even sent doctors abroad to help other countries weather the pandemic. In fact, the government reported just 146 deaths in Cuba in 2020 (in the US, the pandemic resulted in over 300,000 deaths in 2020). However, Cuba saw a sharp increase in cases during the summer of 2021. That wave ended in the fall and except for a spike in cases in winter 2022, cases have been relatively low. An aggressive vaccination campaign made Cuba one of the most-vaccinated countries in the world with more than 88% of the population fully vaccinated as of August 2022.
But if you are going to travel to Cuba, then there are some COVID-19 travel restrictions that you need to know first. Plus, travelers should know a thing or two about what life is like in Cuba at the moment.
All Americans can now travel to Cuba without proof of a pre-travel COVID test. However, there are still a few rules for all travelers:
In addition to these Cuba travel restrictions, travelers should also be prepared to follow Cuban pandemic policies on the island itself. So, what are these? Has the island largely reopened?
With a high vaccination rate and a low case count, Cuba opened up for travel in November 2021 after a long period of closure. Tourism is a major part of the Cuban economy and those in the industry are eager to welcome back travelers. Four million people visited Cuba in 2019, but tourism industry officials hope to welcome 2.5 million in 2022. A significant drop from 2019. For travelers, this means fewer crowds and locals eager for you to stay in their casa particulares, eat at their restaurants, and take their tours. A Cuban local travel expert can help you find the best of the best based on your interests.
COVID rules on the ground: Masks are recommended in public but only required on public transportation and in healthcare settings.
Traveling to Cuba definitely comes with more hurdles than normal at the moment. The island — just like destinations across the globe — has a number of covid travel restrictions in place, in addition to the regular restrictions for Americans.
But it is possible to have an incredible trip to Cuba. Tourism in the country is extremely low, so travelers will get a unique look at Cuban life and culture.
Plus, tourism can really help the Cuban economy. The country’s finances are tightly wound up in its tourism industry, and both have taken a huge hit during the pandemic. Traveling to Cuba now, then, can be a boost for locals.
At the end of the day, no one knows a place like the people who live there. Local knowledge can always enrich a trip, but it’s especially crucial at a time when covid travel restrictions are in flux.
In Cuba, that’s always been especially true — and it’s more true than ever at the moment.
Before the pandemic, Cuba could be hard to access for some travelers. Rules for Americans are complicated — and ever-changing — and require extra research. That’s why we set up travelers with Cuban locals — so that they could help travelers through the process.
Plus, travelers could then get tons of local advice about what to do, see, eat, and explore once they arrived.
But during the pandemic, this kind of local knowledge isn’t just valuable — it’s necessary. What are pandemic policies in Cuba? What should travelers know about wearing a mask or social distancing? What about planned protests?
All of this information can be difficult to find online. But when you talk to a local who actually lives in Cuba, they can help guide you through current coronavirus travel restrictions. Plus, they can answer questions about what’s open, which restaurants have good outdoor seating, and which beaches are the least crowded.
Not only can our Cuban trip planners design a trip that fits your travel style, but they’ll also design one that matches your risk tolerance. Plus, their inside expertise will make navigating pandemic travel much easier than if you go it alone.
Ready to have a local plan your trip to Cuba? Connect with a local today to learn more.
Curious about other destinations? Check out our articles COVID-19 travel restrictions in Italy, Portugal, Spain, Costa Rica, France, and Puerto Rico. Or better yet, talk to a local in the destination you want to visit.