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Cuba Creates New Vacation Program For Canadian Tourists

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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.

havana cuba offering PCR tests for tourists

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.

varadero cuba

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.

masked woman at canadian airport

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 marina

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.

trinidad cuba

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. 

hotels reopening 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.

Read more about Cuba's entry requirements during the pandemic

varadero reopening for tourism oct 15

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.

Only arriving back into YYC airport do Canadian’s have the option of participating in the ‘test to release’ pilot program, which could see their quarantine shortened to as few as 2 days.

All travelers must also download the ArriveCan app for their return into Canada.

Canada Now Requires Proof of Negative PCR Test Before Entering

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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

Dean Whitelaw

Monday 11th of January 2021

Hola Anybody know where I can get latest vibe on sightseeing in Cuba (ie any current lockdowns in place or places you cant go?) I tried googling cuba toursim board but didnt see any ' current news'


Thursday 7th of January 2021

that bruno is a "testa dura"

bruno forletta

Thursday 7th of January 2021

if you go too DH NEWS...TORONTO. Mr ford says a free test apon returning to canada will be done at person airport. dated the 6 of January....unless im reading it wrong...


Saturday 9th of January 2021

Bruno, regardless of that voluntary pilot PCR testing program at YYZ airport, you better make sure you get a PCR test with a negative result done 72 hours before boarding a plane back home or else you ain't boarding that plane. Capiche amico?

Kashlee Kucheran

Thursday 7th of January 2021

That is an entirely different thing Bruno. That is a voluntary test once arriving at that one airport for science and a pilot program... not for entry requirements. Again, you can go to and read it from the source. ALL passengers into Canada must bring a 72-hour negative PCR test in order to enter, even citizens. This is a mandatory requirement from the government.


Wednesday 6th of January 2021

Is the Canadian government requiring a PCR test to leave Canada or only to re-enter?

Kashlee Kucheran

Thursday 7th of January 2021

Just to enter

bruno forletta

Wednesday 6th of January 2021

As of Jan-6-2021 the goverment has said that all travelers of international will get in a volentary test. There is nothing to say Cuba wil test you to come to Canada my HOME GROUND.I dont see cuba stopping canadian people to go home after there vacation.......I would like to know were they got there information.....

Kashlee Kucheran

Thursday 7th of January 2021

Bruno, I don't know what else to tell you. The test to return home is not voluntary, it's mandatory. go to and you can see for yourself. It has nothing to do with Cuba, authorities in Cuba are just trying to help Canadians return home. You should write your MP if you have concerns with the Canadian government's new rule