The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.
The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
Entry rules in response to coronavirus
Entry to Cuba
From 7 November 2021 entry rules will change. You will be able to enter the country with a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate from your country of origin and you will no longer be required to self-isolate on arrival. PCR tests taken within 72 hours before travel will only be required for those who are not vaccinated or who do not have valid vaccination certificates.
Until 7 November, 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 not use the NHS testing services to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. 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. If you have to pay for a PCR test, e.g. if you are 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.
Demonstrating your COVID-19 status
Cuba will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.
Screening and quarantine
Until 7 November, tourists arriving on holiday charter flights will be given a PCR test on arrival, transferred to their hotels, and will be briefed on isolation rules and further medical checks or testing at the hotel.
Non-residents arriving independently will be given a PCR test on arrival and will have to stay at a designated isolation centre (a hotel) until they have a second negative PCR test on the fifth day. The cost of the stay, test(s) and transport to and from the accommodation have to be paid by credit card. It is recommended to bring cash in case your credit card does not work.
Cuban nationals and foreign residents will also have to stay in a designated isolation centre until their second negative PCR test result. 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 a ‘hotel hospital’ run by the Ministry of Public Health.
The costs of the stay in the ‘hotel hospital’ (and any medication) must either 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 (a rough guide is £160 per day).
Regular entry requirements
If you’re entering Cuba as a tourist, you’ll need to get a tourist card before you travel.
For more information and advice about visas, contact the Cuban Embassy.
If you’re a dual national, you should contact the Cuban Embassy for advice on entry requirements before you travel.
Your passport should be valid for at least two months after your departure date from Cuba.
Some electrical items with heavy power consumption may be confiscated on entry to Cuba. Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are also subject to import requirements and may be confiscated. Confiscated items are normally returned on departure.
Mobile telephones, tablets and laptops can be taken to Cuba, but any inbuilt GPS should be disconnected or disabled. For more information on Cuban customs regulations, including a list of prohibited and regulated items, visit the Cuban Customs Administration website.
Cuban regulations allow a maximum of two pieces of checked in luggage per person, each to a maximum weight of 32kgs. Passengers should confirm their luggage allowance, which may be more restrictive than this, and excess baggage charges with their airline.
Travelling to Cuba from the USA
Travelling for tourism reasons directly from the USA to Cuba isn’t allowed under US law. The law applies to US nationals and all foreign nationals who are either resident in the USA, or travelling through the USA en route to Cuba. Those travelling on direct flights between the UK and Cuba, or via other countries excluding the USA, are unaffected by this US legislation.
Under certain conditions, travel is permitted from the USA to Cuba, including on the direct flights which operate between the two countries. Everybody travelling on these routes (both US citizens and foreign nationals) will need to comply with US law and travel for one of 12 permitted reasons/categories of travel. Tourism isn’t one of these 12 permitted reasons/categories. For more information see the US Department of the Treasury website and the US State Department’s travel advice for Cuba. For travel-specific questions, see the Code of Federal Regulations 31 C.F.R. 515.560 and the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) frequently asked questions.
Yellow fever certificate requirements
Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Cuba.