Cuba Reopens to Canadians as Covid Spikes

By Circles Robinson

Air Canada, one of the airlines that brings the most Canadian tourists to Jardines del Rey. Photo: Gutiérrez Gómez, Osvaldo

HAVANA TIMES – On the same day, Saturday July 3rd, that Cuba recorded a record number of positive Covid-19 cases, the good news for government beach resorts was the arrival of two flights of tourists from Canada.

The Jardines del Rey airport in the Central Cuban province of Ciego de Avila welcomed the Canadians, traditionally the island’s leading tourist market. The official press noted it was five months since such flights were suspended due to the Covid-19 spike and before vaccination campaigns were underway in some countries.

Advice to tourists

The Canadian Center for Disease Control tells its citizens they should not travel to Cuba unless they are fully vaccinated as the risk of Covid-19 infection is high at the current time (a 3 on a 1-4 scale with 4 being very high).

The two flights that landed on Saturday came from Montreal and Toronto. The Cuban government assures all protocols are in place to attend to the tourists in the resorts and bring in the much-needed hard currency.

Russian tourist companies have also stepped-up travel to Cuba for resort stays since such was permitted for them starting last November.

The requirements for package tours reserved with tour operators or travel agents to government resorts include lodging, transportation and other services as requested by the customer.

Upon arrival to Cuba the traveler must show a negative RT-PCR for Covid-19 taken 72 hours before the trip and certified by a laboratory in the visitor’s home country.

The visitor must possess a health insurance policy that includes expenses in case of contracting Covid-19.

At the incoming airport, another RT-PCR test will be performed and then the tourist will be transported to their hotel.  They will get their test result within 24 hours.

If the test is negative they can then enjoy their travel plans.

Wearing a mask is mandatory in the country and in the common areas of the hotel.

If the traveler needs to take an RT-PCR test result for returning to their country they can ask the medical personnel at their hotel.  The fee can be paid only with a credit or debit card.

Covid-19 positive cases set a new record

Meanwhile, on the same day the two plane loads of Canadian tourists arrived, Cuban authorities lamented another record in Covid-19 cases, 3,519, in the country of 11.2 million inhabitants.

Once again Matanzas, which includes the Varadero beach resorts, led with 1,191 positive cases, followed by Havana (537), Camaguey (302), Santiago de Cuba (292), and Holguin (171).  In response, more neighborhoods and entire municipalities have been place in quarantine. 

Read more news and features from Cuba here.

5 thoughts on “Cuba Reopens to Canadians as Covid Spikes

  • There is no such thing as a Canadian Centre for Disease Control. Recommendations are made by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). PHAC has not made any statements specific to Cuba and covid-19.

    The Cuban state-run website in Canada
    says as of 2021-08-02 ”no traffic between these islands and mainland” ie Canadian tourists who book all-inclusives are not allowed to leave the tourist area.

  • Is there still a requirement for Canadians to stay on the resorts and quarantine for 7 days or can they travel freely within the country once they have their negative test in Cuba.
    I was there on the first flight on July 3 and spent travelling to Havana and spent a total of 9 days in Veradaro at the Roc hotel and it was the worst experience travelling ever.
    I was tested a total of 5 times.
    Im planning to return in Sept. to Havana and would like to know the details about quarantine hotel stay.

  • Is there still a requirement for Canadians to stay on the resorts and quarantine for 5 days or can they travel freely within the country once they have their negative test in Cuba.

  • Meanwhile national tourists are forbidden in Varadero

  • Canadians arriving on a direct flight from Canada do not need a PCR test before arrival. Do the Russians?

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