At a time when travel rules have become the most restrictive for Canadians since the start of the pandemic, Cuba makes major changes to more easily welcome Canadian visitors without over-complicated requirements.
Cuba announced two updates this week that greatly simplify the process of visiting as a Canadian tourist.
Firstly, they are removing the pre-flight PCR testing requirement for Canadian visitors. Canadians only need to be tested on arrival but will not need to bring proof of a negative PCR test like all other foreigners who wish to visit Cuba at this time.
Secondly, officials in Cuba have created an easy system for Canadians to get the pre-flight PCR test they need in order to return home with a collaboration between local tourism and health officials.
While advice from the government of Canada still strongly recommends not traveling during this time, Canadians are still legally permitted to travel internationally for leisure purposes, should they so choose. Of course, upon returning to Canada, all passengers will have to quarantine for 14 days, and starting January 7, 2021, also bring proof of a negative PCR test taken no longer than 72 hours before arrival.
Cuba Offering PCR Tests For Canadians Returning Home
In order to help Canadians visit Cuba more easily, local tourism and health officials are working together to ensure Canadian tourists can obtain the PCR test they need in order to return home.
In an interview with the Cuban Tourism Board, representative Nieves Ricardo told Travel Off Path;
“PCR tests will be done for Canadian tourists at the International Clinics in Cuba, and we have one in every resort area. Appointments will be arranged through the hotel doctor of the resort guests are staying at. Guests will be advised upon arrival during the welcome briefing about all the details on how to book and pay for their tests. Health and tourism officials are also working towards testing guests right at the hotel in the near future, within the main destinations of: Varadero, Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Coco and Holguin.”
Thankfully, the costs for obtaining a PCR test for travel back to Canada is very affordable.
Prices are expected to come in around $30 USD, payable only by credit card or visa debit, no cash accepted. In comparison, PCR tests can cost upwards of $200-$300 in some tourist destinations like Cancun, making Cuba’s tests a very reasonable cost.
Cuba Removing Pre-Flight PCR Test Requirement For Canadian Visitors
Cuba started requiring all travelers to present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test as of January 1, 2021 after a surge in cases prompted authorities to tighten entry requirements.
However, the government of Cuba has decided to drop the pre-flight PCR testing requirement for Canadian visitors, starting on January 10, 2021. Tourists from all other countries will still need to bring proof of a negative test.
Canadians will still be tested on arrival and expected to isolate at their resort or hotel until results are available.
Additional Entry Requirements For Canadian Travelers To Cuba
Cuba is open for tourism and airlines in Canada have resumed flights to the island, along with hotel and vacation packages.
All travelers will be required to fill out a health declaration card before being allowed entry in Cuba.
Passengers to Cuba will be tested at the airport upon arrival. The cost of this test is covered by the Cuban government.
Tourists staying at hotels and resorts will not need to quarantine but must stay within the resort until negative test results are received.
Requirements For Canadians Returning Home
Starting January 7, 2021, passengers returning to Canada from abroad will have to provide proof of a negative PCR test, performed no longer than 72 hours prior to arrival in the country.
The new PCR test requirement will NOT circumvent the blanket 14-day quarantine arrivals still face upon arrival, but instead act as an additional layer of security, ensuring infected passengers are not boarding flights into the country in the first place.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories