Coronavirus / CoVid-19: Entry into Cuba
The Cuban airports will slowly start operating again in November / December 2020 and tourism can use Cuba as a destination again. Some airlines have already started their flights. The international airport "Jose Marti" in Havana will open on November 15, 2020. How to travel to Cuba during the Coronavirus can be found here.
Entry into Cuba - regulations relating to the coronavirus
You can travel to Havana, Varadero, or other cities in Cuba again. The most important basics for entering Cuba and the currently applicable regulations in the CoVid-19 pandemic are compiled here for tourists who want to travel to Cuba.
CoVid-19: Requirements before leaving for Cuba
- A negative Corona test / CoVid-19 test must be taken before departure.
- The test must come from a certified laboratory.
- Upon arrival in Cuba, the findings must not be older than 72 hours - in order to avoid complicated discussions at the airport health authorities due to misunderstandings (e.g. time zones), we recommend a shorter period before departure.
- The test results for the negative corona test should at least be available in English and/or Spanish. A purely German-language result can lead to difficulties, but most certified laboratories also issue the results in English by default.
- A valid travel health insurance must be presented.
- Attention: It is important that the travel insurance explicitly includes the holiday destination Cuba, this is not the case with every international travel health insurance. Make sure that your travel health insurance company has directly listed Cuba as a valid country for insurance cover!
CoVid-19: Procedure when entering Cuba
The process for tourists in Cuba during Corona Virus times is not as simple as we used to be used to from vacation trips to Cuba. The health authority (Salud Publico) welcomes tourists at the airport. Not only is the negative corona test required, but a fever is also measured.
- At the airport, the Cuban health authority carries out a PCR test on every tourist - entry is not possible without this additional PCR test after landing in Cuba.
- Tourists must be able to provide clear information about their whereabouts. A valid hotel reservation or accommodation reservation must be submitted or confirmation of a private household in Cuba with which the person is staying.
- From the airport, in Cuba, it is only allowed to drive directly to the private accommodation or the hotel.
- Every tourist there has to go into isolation immediately.
- Another PCR test will be carried out at the accommodation after the 5th day.
- If both PCR tests carried out by the health authority are negative, you are free to move around as a tourist.
- Isolation must be observed beforehand. Heavy penalties are also provided here and isolation is controlled by the accommodation provider as well as the police and health authorities.
- A fee is charged for the tests. This applies to all people who enter the country, whether they are Cubans or foreigners. The costs will already be integrated into the travel ticket. It will be charged beginning on December 1st, 2020. (30 US$ / 26,50 €)
Behavior in Cuba in the coronavirus pandemic
During the pandemic around the CoVid-19 / Sars-Cov-2 pandemic, mask requirements apply across the board in Cuba. Anyone who leaves the personal living area must always wear a mask. This applies both outdoors, on the street, in a park and in a department store or in the hotel lobby, or in the hotel corridor. The mask must cover the entire area of the mouth and nose, so-called face visors or "face shields" are not permitted.
The rules for tourists in the coronavirus pandemic in Cuba are easy to understand: wear a mask. Regardless of whether you are alone on the street or sitting alone in a car - wear a mask! Only in the restaurant, if you have taken a seat at the table, you can take off your mask to eat.
Reality check: How do you travel to CoVid-19 in Cuba?
So far the most important standards are listed. A first reality check, which the GoCubaGo team carried out together with customers, results in a few more additions to this article.
When boarding or on the plane, the passengers receive a health questionnaire from the stewards of the airline. This must be completed during the flight. At the airport itself, there is another barrier after passport control. At this barrier, you give the health questionnaire to the staff. Then fever will be measured and then a PCR test for CoVid-19 is will be done. At the health checkpoint, the procedure usually takes less than 10 minutes per passenger. Anyone who shows symptoms like fever is referred to a doctor immediately. All the others who do not show symptoms can move on and collect their luggage.
The entire time from landing until leaving the airport in Havana took about 1.5 to 2 hours during our tests. This is slightly longer than in normal operation. After leaving the airport, all passengers have to go to their quarters directly and without any stop. At the hotel or »casa particular« you have to stay in quarantine.
Second coronavirus test after five days?
Our experience so far with tourists at GoCubaGo shows that in many cases the Cuban health authorities then decide whether a second test is necessary or not. Many of our guests report that this second coronavirus test was no longer carried out. This seems to be the case more often when the guests stay in either a hotel or a certified casa particular. This cannot be guaranteed, but the likelihood that the second test will no longer be taken seems to be relatively high. This is what our guests, whom we transported with the GoCubaGo transfer service, reported.
Update 2021-01-19: Limited freedom of movement due to CoVid-19
At the moment, transfers are only possible regionally. To contain the Covid19 virus, freedom of movement is restricted in Cuba. This regulation applies until further notice, but at least until February 2021. We are happy to offer you airport transfers in Havana or Varadero. Transfers such as from Havana Airport (HAV) across the regional border to Varadero are not possible.
Update 2021-01-30: Starting February 6th, all tourists have to be in quarantine hotels
Starting on February 6, 2021, all tourists have to be in specially designated quarantine hotels. The hotels are always in the same province as the airport at which you entered (e.g. entry at Jose Marti international airport, quarantine in Havana). Private accommodation is not permitted here. The quarantine can only be ended after the second Covid test, on the fifth day of your stay in Cuba. All tourists are transported centrally from the airport to the hotels. The costs for quarantine and transport are to be borne by yourself. This rule applies until further notice and changes are very likely. We update the valid entry regulations on an ongoing basis.
Update 2021-02-07: Quarantine hotels in Cuba
All tourists must go through a five-day state quarantine in a hotel. The hotels that can be booked for quarantine are listed on havanatursa.com. The prices for five nights range between US $ 230 and US $ 800 at the hotels. Costs for overnight accommodation, full board and transport from the airport to the quarantine hotel must be borne by the tourists themselves. In addition, a night curfew has been in effect in Havana since February 6th. It is forbidden to stay outside the hotel between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. (During your quarantine in the hotel for 5 days leaving the hotel is forbidden anytime of course!)
We will continuously monitor the situation and update it on an ongoing basis.