Cuba’s Ministry of Tourism will ease pandemic restrictions on visitors from Nov. 15, just in time to welcome the Christmas influx. The news comes despite a recent surge in COVID-19 infections.
Ministry officials credited progress in Cuba’s vaccination program, under which officials predict “more than 90 percent of the entire population will complete vaccination schedules” by November. “Sanitary hygienic protocols will be relaxed” upon travellers’ arrival, said tourism officials, with protocols focused on “the surveillance of symptomatic patients and temperature-taking.”
Additionally, diagnostic tests will be carried out randomly, and PCR testing will no longer be required upon arrival. Cuban customs officials will also accept travellers’ vaccination certificates issued abroad.
Last Monday Cuba reported 7,230 new, confirmed COVID-19 cases and 85 deaths in 24 hours, bringing the country’s total to 696,904 cases with 5,788 deaths among its 11 million citizens. Cuba is using locally produced coronavirus vaccines Abdala and Soberana, which are not recognised by the World Health Organisation but have demonstrated a 90 percent efficacy rate in local clinical trials.
Cuba travellers are required to submit a health declaration, obtain a Cuba Tourist Card from their airline, produce proof of a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours of arrival and take a PCR test upon arrival.