*Entry to Cuba: From 10 January 2021, everyone travelling to Cuba must have a certified proof of a negative result of a PCR test taken within 72 hours before travel at an accredited testing centre in the UK or the country you are travelling from. Children are not exempt. You should arrange to take a private test. You will still be given a PCR test on arrival in Cuba. Everyone has to complete a Health Declaration (with the address of where they will be staying) and have a PCR test. From 1 December, all air tickets will have a sanitary fee of $30 included. If you have to pay for a PCR test, e.g. arriving by boat, the cost is payable by credit card, or in USD or GBP or Euros cash. The test result should be communicated within 48 hours. Travel insurance with cover for COVID-19 is required.
*Screening and quarantine: Tourists arriving on holiday charter flights will be given a PCR test on arrival. You will then be transferred to their hotels, and will be briefed on isolation rules there and further medical checks or testing at the hotel. Non-residents will be given a PCR test on arrival and will have to stay at a designated isolation centre (may be a hotel) until they have a second negative PCR test (the test may be on fifth day). The costs of the stay, test(s) and transport to and from the accommodation have to be paid by you, by credit card. It is recommended to bring cash in case your credit card does not work. Cuban nationals will also have to stay in a designated isolation centre until their second negative PCR test result. As will foreign residents of Cuba. The designated place of isolation for foreign residents will be specified by the relevant Ministry, e.g. MINCEX in the case of foreign business officials, MINREX for foreign media, and Ministry of Higher Education (MES) for foreign students. If your first PCR test is positive (even if you arrived with a certificate of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of your departure to Cuba) you will have to go into hospital or centre being run by Ministry of Public Health. The costs of the stay in hospital or centre (and any medication) must be paid by credit card when discharged, or payment will need to be arranged directly by your travel insurance company. As a contingency, it is worth bringing cash (GBP, US Dollars or Euros) to settle the bill. Internal Restrictions:
*Travel in Cuba: Travel and transport within and between Provinces varies according to the measures in place. Any change in the situation in a province or municipality may mean inter-provincial or municipal transport links also change. Travel in and out Havana is restricted from 12 January 2021 through specific check points with sanitary controls, and (public and private) transport services in Havana will only operate between 5am and 9pm.
From Friday 5 February 2021, a curfew is in place in Havana between 9pm to 5am which applies to any movement of vehicles and persons. The only permitted exceptions are for the transport of essential workers and supplies, and certain other categories with official permission.
Face masks must be worn at all times when travelling on buses, in taxis, and private hire vehicles. Visitors are allowed to hire cars (see important information in Road Travel section) but should check with the hire companies if they are open, have cars available, and check where you can drive to under current COVID-19 measures, before making plans. Check with your tour operator and seek local advice if you have questions about excursions to other parts of Cuba, including whether car hire is allowed.
*Accommodation: Hotels and guest houses are open but to a limited occupancy. Guests may have to wear face masks in some hotel areas and facilities. Campsites are open also to a limited capacity. Medical teams in hotels will check on health of guests, including taking their temperature, and will be available to guests who feel unwell in between those visits. Local medical representatives will visit campsites and “casas particulares”. Anyone with respiratory symptoms may be moved to a clinic or isolation centre and will have to pay for PCR test(s) and the medical services by credit card. Any travelling companion may be required to self-isolate in their accommodation pending a negative PCR test result, or be tested themselves. Hotels may limit the numbers of people using facilities at any one time, especially swimming pools (if open) and elevators.
*Public spaces and services: Wearing a face mask in public is compulsory or you risk being fined, as is social distancing of a minimum of 1.5 metres. Shops in all Provinces can open but must limit the number of customers within the shop. This means there are queues to enter shops.
From 13 January, shops in Havana will only be allowed to open between 9am and 5pm on Monday to Saturday and between 9am and 1pm on Sunday. Shops can only open to sell essential food and hygiene products.
Cafés, bars and restaurants (except in Havana from 13 January) are allowed to open but must limit the opening hours, the number of customers and separate tables by 1.5 metres. Outlets in Havana can only service food for take-away Drinking alcohol in public or hosting or attending a party in Havana is not allowed.
• Public parks can open, but currently only between 5am and 7pm in Havana
• Social clubs, gyms, museums, gardens, theatres etc can open (except in Havana) to a limited capacity and visitors must observe social distancing
• Swimming pools can open to a limited capacity and to restricted visit times, to allow cleaning for the next opening times. From 10 January 2021, public pools in Havana are closed
• Beaches in Havana are closed. Beaches outside Havana are open, but limited numbers of people may be allowed, and there may be personnel at the beaches to manage access
• Exercising on public roads in Havana is currently not allowed, nor is use of gyms or sports grounds
• Religious gatherings in Havana are not allowed. Elsewhere, churches can open for services, following government sanitary and distancing advice
• Travel agencies may be closed and tourist excursions suspended. Check with your tour operator
Anyone who does not follow local rules can be fined or even prosecuted.