Health

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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

See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in Cuba.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist are available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad. A copy of the prescription and a letter from your doctor explaining your condition, treatment, medication and dosage may be helpful at customs.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. Many medicines, pharmacy and sanitary products are unavailable in Cuba. You should bring a sufficient supply of any prescription drugs you take regularly, as well as other products you may need, for the duration of your stay and extra in case you have to stay longer than planned.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Currently only patients are allowed in hospitals and clinics which are closed except for Coronavirus and emergency cases. Limited services are starting again in all Provinces except Havana but access is likely to still be limited to the patient and possibly one visitor at a time.

Other health risks

UK health authorities have classified Cuba as having a risk of dengue, and Zika virus transmission. For more information and advice, visit the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

To control the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, the Cuban authorities are carrying out chemical fumigation measures across the island. The chemicals used may cause some discomfort if you come into contact with them.

Cases of Chikungunya virus have been confirmed in Cuba. Dengue fever is also present in Cuba. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Cases of cholera were reported in parts of the country in 2015.

Medical treatment

Medical facilities in Havana are better than elsewhere in Cuba, but you may need to be medically evacuated if you need specialist care. This can be very expensive. If you need medical treatment you - or your insurance company - will be expected to pay in hard currency before your departure. A basic hospital stay can cost as much as £200 per day plus medical expenses. Psychiatric care facilities for foreigners are extremely limited and difficult to access. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, the emergency number (for ambulance) is 104. You can also contact one of the International clinics located in the majority of tourist areas across the island. Your hotel or casa particular will be able to tell you where it is. In Havana, the Cira Garcia Clinic - Calle 20 No 4101 y Avenida 41, Playa on tel: 204 2811 (+ Ext 445 to request an ambulance) - offers such facilities to foreign nationals. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.