Last update: 9/7/2021
Cuba started reopening to international tourism on July 1, 2020, and, like many other countries open for tourists, it has opened its cities gradually. Havana officially reopened to tourists on November 15, 2020. Varadero, Cayo Largo, Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, Cayo Santa María, and Cayo Cruz are also welcoming visitors.
Tourists from all countries that can normally visit Cuba are currently allowed to enter Cuba, subject to the same visa requirements. However, under United States law, Americans cannot travel directly from the U.S. to Cuba for tourist reasons.
Can I travel to Cuba right now?
Cuba is open to travel from all countries that are normally allowed to enter Cuba. Below is a map of the countries that can currently enter Cuba.
Cuba - EN
Tourists from all countries can travel to Cuba except for those from countries with a Cuba travel ban in place.
- United States*
*Travelers from the United States are not technically banned from visiting Cuba, but under U.S. law, it is illegal to travel directly from the U.S. to Cuba for tourist purposes.
Cuba COVID-19 travel restrictions and entry requirements
Cuba is open to travelers from almost all countries and its entry requirements are pretty straightforward.
All travelers must have proof of a negative RT-PCR test result that was obtained within 72 hours of arrival in Cuba and valid travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage.
All international travelers will undergo a RT-PCR test on arrival in Cuba. Tourists on charter flights will then be transferred to their hotels, where they will await the results of their arrival test, which should be ready within 24 hours.
All other international travelers and Cuban nationals/residents will have to self-isolate in a government-approved hotel at their own expense for 6 nights and 7 days, unless they arrive at the airports of La Habana or Santiago de Cuba, in which case they must self-isolate for 5 nights and 6 days. Travelers will undergo yet another PCR test on the penultimate day of theirs quarantine. If that test result is negative, they may explore Cuba freely.
Is PCR testing mandatory to travel to Cuba?
You must have proof of a negative PCR test result that was obtained within 72 hours of arrival in Cuba.
Also, all international travelers, Cuban nationals, and Cuban residents will be tested upon arrival (the cost of this test is $30, but this fee is included in the price of your plane ticket). Tourists on charter flights will then be transferred to their hotels.
All other international travelers, Cuban nationals, and Cuban residents must self-isolate in a government-approved hotel at their own expense for 6 nights and 7 days, unless they arrive at the airports of La Habana or Santiago de Cuba, in which case they must self-isolate for 5 nights and 6 days.
On the fifth day of their self-isolation period (if they are quarantining for 6 days) or on the sixth of their self-isolation period (if they are quarantining for 7 days), they will undergo a third PCR test. If that test result is negative, international travelers, Cuban nationals, and Cuban residents will be allowed to explore Cuba freely.
Is there a mandatory quarantine upon arrival in Cuba?
All travelers, whether international travelers or Cuban nationals, must self-isolate for either 5 nights and 6 days if they arrive at La Habana or Santiago de Cuba, or for 6 nights and 7 days if they arrive anywhere else. Only tourists on charter flights may be exempt from this requirement.
International travelers must self-isolate at a government-approved hotel at their own expense. Cuban nationals and residents must self-isolate in the province where they arrive if they arrive in Varadero or Cayo Coco, or for free at an isolation center if they arrive at La Habana or Santiago de Cuba.
On the penultimate day of their self-isolation period (either the 5th or 6th day), both international travelers and Cuban nationals must undergo a PCR test. If that test result is negative, they will no longer have to self-isolate.
Is travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage mandatory to enter Cuba?
You need valid travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage to enter Cuba.
Heymondo’s comprehensive COVID-19 insurance policy is probably your best bet for travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage for Cuba. Their policy includes COVID-19 testing and treatment abroad, so you can be sure that it will provide sufficient coverage while you are in Cuba. You can even get a 5% discount on their insurance just for being our reader!
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COVID-19 vaccine to travel to Cuba
Although COVID-19 vaccine distribution has begun in most countries around the world, the government has not yet confirmed whether it will be mandatory to present a proof of vaccine record (POVR) or an international certificate of vaccination or prophylaxis (ICVP) to enter Cuba.
If you’re going to get the COVID-19 vaccine before traveling to Cuba, I recommend taking a copy of a vaccination record or certificate with you in case Cuba changes its entry requirements.
Other travel restrictions for Cuba during COVID-19
There are few other travel restrictions for travelers to follow in Cuba:
- Face masks must be worn at all times in public areas. This is required by law.
- Social distancing must be observed.
- Depending on your nationality, you may need a tourist visa to enter Cuba. Check if you need one below.
What is open in Cuba
Cuba has some of the strictest regulations but it’s also one of the safest places to travel right now. Hotels, attractions, and restaurants are open but with new safety measurements in place.
Hotels that are open in Cuba
There are some open hotels in Cuba. Only the ones that have been inspected and have The Hygienic and Safe Tourism certification can operate. These hotels have implemented strict sanitary protocols and the staff has been trained to follow the new safety measures.
Currently, all hotels need to have a nurse, a doctor, and an epidemiologist on the grounds 24 hours a day. There will be daily temperature checks for all staff members and guests. 24 hours must elapse between the time a room is vacated and the time it is next occupied, since there will be an exhaustive cleaning of all surfaces that may have been touched by guests.
International tourists can also stay at casas particulares. In that case, the owners will be in constant communication with the family’s doctor and nurse to inform them about the health status of their guests.
Open Beaches in Cuba – Is Varadero open?
Varadero reopened to international tourism on October 15th, 2020. Like most beaches in Cuba, beaches in Varadero are open but with safety measures in place. Social distancing and wearing a face mask when entering and exiting beaches is mandatory, but once you find a good spot in the sand and there is no one around, you’re free to take your mask off and enjoy the sun.
Cayo Santa María, Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, Cayo Cruz and Cayo Largo del Sur are other summer destinations in Cuba that are welcoming international tourists.
Restaurants that are open in Cuba
Restaurants and cafes in Cuba have reopened but with a capacity limit of between 30 and 50%. In addition, all tables must be 1.5 meters apart.
More information on restaurant regulations can be found here (in Spanish).
Transport that is operating in Cuba
There are many ways to get around in Cuba. However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, we only recommend official transport like taxis, Viazul buses, or certified tours.
During our 15-day Cuba trip, we used shared cars most of the time, but this is not an option during the pandemic. However, Viazul buses are operating and are a great way to get around. Also, there are many tour operators that can help you do the best things to do in Cuba, even during the pandemic:
- Varadero airport shuttle
- Havana airport shuttle
- 1-day Havana tour from Varadero
- 1-day Varadero tour from Havana
- 1-day Viñales tour from Havana
- Trinidad and Cienfuegos from Havana
- Trinidad and Cienfuegos from Varadero
- Classic American Car Tour in La Habana
Airports that are open in Cuba
All international airports in Cuba are open. This includes Cuba’s most important airports, José Martí International Airport (Havana) and Juan Gualberto Gómez International Airport (Varadero).
The airports for Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo del Sur, and Abel de Santamaría in Santa Clara have been operating since July 2020, so there are many different options for travel to Cuba right now.
Where to get a PCR test in Cuba – COVID-19 testing in Cuba
Your country may require you to take a PCR test in order to fly back home. If you need to get a PCR test in Cuba, here is a list of places you can get tested.
Cuba reopening its borders to tourists – F.A.Q.
Check out these FAQs related to Cuba reopening for tourists and let us know if you have any other questions in the comments below.
Yes, you can travel to Cuba right now as long as you are not traveling from Kosovo or the United States.
There are currently 21,000+ active cases and 1,400+ deaths due to COVID-19 in Cuba as of today. The CDC classifies travel to Cuba as “Level 3- High Risk.” If you have a pre-existing condition or any health condition that could increase your chances of serious illness, do not travel to Cuba. Additionally, even if you are not high-risk, you should reconsider travel to Cuba.
No, the only countries that cannot currently visit Cuba are countries that would not normally be allowed to visit Cuba anyway: Kosovo and the United States.
Yes, all travelers must self-isolate for either 6 or 7 days from their arrival in Cuba, including Cuban residents. Travelers will self-isolate at a government-approved location at their own expense and take a PCR test on the penultimate day of their self-isolation period. Only tourists on charter flights may be exempt from this requirement.
Yes, you must have proof of a negative RT-PCR test result that was obtained within 72 hours of arrival in Cuba. Upon arrival in Cuba, you will undergo another RT-PCR COVID test, which costs $30 (this health fee will be included in the price of your flight ticket). You will then undergo a third PCR test on the penultimate day of your self-isolation period. If that test result is negative, you can explore Cuba freely.
No, there is currently no curfew in Cuba.
Yes, there are currently restrictions on intercity and interstate travel in Cuba.
Yes, hotels in Cuba are currently open.
Yes, Cuba’s airports are open. Both commercial and chartered flights are available.
Yes, some restaurants and cafes are open in Cuba.
Yes, Old Havana is currently open.
Yes, Varadero Beach is currently open.
Yes, the Bay of Pigs is currently open for visitors.
Yes, Viazul buses have resumed their operation.
Yes, Cuba is technically open to American tourists, but the U.S. Department of State advises Americans not to visit Cuba. Additionally, under U.S. law, it is illegal to fly directly from the U.S. to Cuba for tourist purposes.
Yes, Cuba is currently open to Canadian tourists.
We will update this guide on Cuba reopening to tourism with any new developments. If you need more information on travel to Cuba, you can check these official sources:
- US Embassy Updates on COVID-19 in Cuba
- CDC Travel Recommendations for Cuba
- General Cuba Travel Advisory
- More on Current Cuban Entry Restrictions in Spanish
- Cuba Health Declaration Form
- Cuban Government’s COVID-19 Page in Spanish
- Ministry of Tourism of Cuba
- New normal in Cuban airports