Coronavirus

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Cuba on the TravelHealthPro website

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If coming to Cuba, you should pack masks, sanitary hand gel, handkerchiefs and other essential items that may prevent transmission, as these items are not always available in Cuba.

You may face a long queue to shop in a pharmacy. Over-the-counter medicines and pharmacy products are not always available. You should bring anything you might need with you.

You should also bring your prescription medicines with you and think about bringing extra in case you have to stay longer than planned.

International travel

Cuba opened fully to tourism on 15 November 2021 and all airports are open again for commercial and charter flights, but with reduced frequency.

All international flights using Jose Marti International Airport in Havana are currently at Terminal 3. This may impact on flight arrival and departure times.

Only airline passengers are allowed into the airport terminal buildings. When you are travelling to the airport, you can only be accompanied by the person driving you to and dropping you at the airport. You should contact airlines for information regarding departure requirements from Cuba. See ‘Returning to the UK’ section.

You should check the FCDO Travel Advice for any country you have to transit on your journey to/from Cuba, to keep up to date with current entry and transit rules.

See Entry requirements and check with the airline or your travel company for the latest information.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out about entry requirements and what you will need to do when you arrive in Cuba.

Returning to the UK

Travelling from and returning to the UK

Check what you must do to travel abroad and return to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting.

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

  • can access money
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

Visa extensions and departure

If you want to remain in Cuba longer than the time allowed on arrival by Cuban Immigration Authorities, you should contact the nearest Immigration Office for advice on how to extend your visa.

If you have dual British and Cuban nationality, you are subject to Cuban measures. From 1 April 2020, dual nationals required permission (from Cuban Immigration offices) to leave Cuba on the special repatriation and humanitarian flights. That is no longer a requirement but could be re-introduced if the Cuban authorities implement any new measures.

Travel in Cuba

Travel and transport within and between Provinces varies according to the COVID-19 measures in place. Any change in the COVID-19 situation in a province or municipality may mean inter-provincial or municipal transport links also change and curfews may be imposed.

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 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.

The measures in place may differ between and within Provinces and Municipalities according to the level of COVID-19 cases and transmission. The situation and measures can change quickly. Anyone not complying with local rules can be fined.

Accommodation

Hotels and guest houses are open. Guests may have to wear face masks in some hotel areas and facilities.

Campsites are also open.

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” (private guest house). Anyone with respiratory symptoms may be moved to a clinic or isolation centre and will have to pay for PCR test(s) and 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, as is social distancing of a minimum of 1.5 metres.

Anyone who does not follow local rules can be fined or even prosecuted.

Healthcare in Cuba

If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should contact a local clinic straight away. If you are staying in a hotel, the hotel reception will be able to contact medical personnel for you. Owners of “casas particulares” will be able to help you to contact the local medical services to organise a PCR test if required.

If your PCR test is positive, you may have to go into a ‘hotel hospital’ designated by the government. You may not have any or much internet access. Your mobile phone roaming may not work in Cuba.

If you need to stay in hospital or under medical care, you must pay the bill by credit card when being discharged, or arrange payment directly by your travel insurance company. Cash payment (GBP, US Dollars, or Euros) is permitted too if credit cards do not work so you are advised to make contingency plans to bring cash with you.

Cuban authorities aim to have PCR test results within 48 hours but that is not always achievable given the high volume of testing.

If you are staying in private home or a hotel, you are likely to receive regular home checks by medical representatives (known as “pesquisia”). Any travelling companions with you will have to self-isolate in the accommodation and be tested again.

For contact details for English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health. You are advised to pack items to help you to pass the time in a medical facility or self-isolation.

View Health for further details on healthcare in Cuba.

See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.

COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Cuba

We will update this page when the Government of Cuba announces new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.

The Cuban national vaccination programme started in May 2021 and is using the Abdala and Soberana 02 vaccines. The Government of Cuba has stated that British nationals resident in Cuba are eligible for vaccination if they choose to join the programme. Further information on the vaccination programme is available on the Government of Cuba Ministry of Health webiste.

Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad.

If you’re a British national living in Cuba, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.

Finance

For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.

Further information

If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.