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Cuba Reopening For Tourism – Everything You Need To Know

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Cuba officially reopened its borders and international airports for tourism on July 1, 2020 starting with certain tourist cities and gradually adding more.

Cuba started their 3-phase reopening plan in June.

Phase 1: June – Domestic tourism, implementing safety protocols

Phase 2: July – International tourism to select areas of Cuba

Phase 3: Starting Sept/Oct/Nov – Opening of the rest of Cuba’s tourist centres

fly direct kelowna to varadero cuba on sunwing

Starting July 1st, tourists are welcome to visit these specific areas of Cuba:

Cayo Largo Del Sur, Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, Cayo Santa María and Cayo Cruz

Opening just a portion of the country allows economic recovery to restart, helps to protect the health of Cuba’s citizens, and also allows the government to monitor the effects of resuming tourism.

cuba beach with sailboats

Varadero Reopening – October 15

The Varadero area will start receiving international tourists as of October 15, states Lessner Gomez, Director of the Cuba Tourism Board. 

The government of Cuba is making a ‘tourism corridor' to safely reintroduce foreign tourists to the area without adding risk to locals. 

The tourism corridor will run from K Street until Punta Hicacos (end of the peninsula). Within this area, tourists will have a choice of several 4 and 5 star hotels, golf course, 2 marinas, Dolphin Park, two shopping plazas (Plaza America & Plaza Hicacos) and additional restaurants, and services.

cuba beach with sailboats

Havana Reopening – November 15

The Havana area and airport, as well as all other areas of Cuba, are have now reopened for tourism as of November 15, 2020.

cuba beach with sailboats

Who Can Visit Cuba?

Currently Cuba is open for all nationalities to visit that normally can under ‘pre-covid’ immigration rules. This reopening includes just the cayo areas listed above starting July 1st. Once Cuba enters the 3rd phase of reopening, all other major airports and cities will be able to once again receive tourists.

Canadians currently make up the largest group that visits Cuba, bringing in almost a quarter of all arrivals. Because of this, tourist flights will start to resume from Canada to the cayos first.

hotels reopening in cuba

Testing and Quarantine Requirements for Cuba

Quarantine = None. Currently any asymptomatic travelers do not have to quarantine.

Testing = Yes- Testing on arrival. Tourists arriving into Cuba will be tested at the airport. After the test is taken, the traveler will quarantine at their hotel for a maximum for 24 hours for test results. If the test is negative, the traveler can enjoy their vacation.

The test upon arrival is free for all tourists.

All the most up to date rules can be found on our guide: “Cuba's Covid-19 Entry Requirements”

Other rules for Cuba's Reopening (in Phase 2 July-Oct)

  • Tourists will only be allowed to stay at hotels in the ‘Cayo’ areas listed above
  • Excursions can be offered by tour companies, but only ones that stay within the ‘Cayo’ areas
  • Nautical activities are reactivated for tourists

Phase 3 – November

Once Phase 3 activates, Cuba will reopen the rest of the country’s tourist areas, including stays at Casa Particulars. 

Cuba Reopening: Varadero Resort Town Prepares For Return of Tourists

What Flights Have Resumed To Cuba?

As of mi-July there are just a few flights trickling in, but starting in August major airlines, especially from Canada, will be resuming services all over the island.

For Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, and Cayo Cruz, tourists will most likely be flying into Cayo Coco Airport

Cayo Coco from

  • Toronto – starting Sept 5 on Westjet, Sunwing and Air Canada, Sept 11 on Air Transat
  • Montreal – starting Sept 4 on Air Canada and Air Transat
  • Quebec City – starting Dec 19 on Air Transat
  • Ottawa – starting Dec 24 on Air Transat
  • Hamilton – starting on Dec 20 on Air Transat

Varadero from

  • Calgary – starting Oct 31 on WestJet
  • Ottawa – starting on Dec 19 on Air Transat
  • Hamilton– starting on Dec 19 on Air Transat
  • Winnipeg – starting on Dec 18 on Air Transat
  • Toronto– starting in Oct on WestJet, Sunwing, and Air Canada
  • Montreal – starting on Oct 4 on Air Canada and Sunwing
  • Frankfurt – starting on Oct 2 on Condor
  • Lisbon – staring in Oct on FlexFlight
  • Zurich – starting on Dec 13 on Edelweiss Air

Havana from

Starting in fall 2020, Havana starts opening up to multiple Canadian cities, multiple Mexican cities, the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, and European cities like: Moscow, Rome, Frankfurt, London, Paris, Zurich, Madrid, and more.

Air Canada Announces June Vacations To Locations In Mexico, Cuba And Jamaica

What’s Open in Cuba

Visitors to Cuba will find hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes, gyms, swimming pools and tourist facilities open. Discos and nightclubs are closed.

Some hotel chains that are open include: Melia, Iberostar, Cubanacán and Gran Caribe, Islazul, and more.

What is Cuba doing to keep tourists safe?

Cuba has launched their Turismo + Higienico y Seguro ‘more hygenic and safe’ program to help keep tourists safe during their vacation.

All hotels and tourist facilities, including transportation, must apply and be approved for health certification. The Certification will require risk assessment, review and adaptation of all hygiene and disinfection protocols of the facilities; increased control, hygiene and prevention measures for staff; maximize compliance with procedures to ensure food safety and appropriate adaptation of space and mobility, among others. It includes specific education and training for employees.

Workers in the tourism industry will also be monitored and immediately isolated if any symptoms arise.

how to see havana like a local

Travel Insurance Required

Having travel health insurance is required for visiting Cuba at this time. Any tourists who arrives into Cuba and cannot show proof of coverage is able to purchase Cuban travel health insurance at the airport for $30 USD. 

Read More: See our complete guide of countries now reopen for international tourism, which countries are open for Canadian tourists, and travel insurance that covers covid.

Disclaimer: Cuba’s reopening news is ever-changing and being updated constantly. We do our best to keep this article up to date with all the latest information, but 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.

For the latest re-opening Travel News and discussions, join our: Facebook Community

Originally Published July 13, 2020 with updates


Monday 28th of December 2020

Because on the food shortages, i want to bring in allowed items. What are prohibited ( canned bee? Etc)

bruno forletta

Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

I have friends going to CUBA and returned ok....There is always changes there. I have heard that bars and resurants are closed.....It depends were you go...Cuba has rules for defferent areas, so pick a good spot....rumors are eveey were, go and relax......


Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

Thank you for your recommendation and I hope so updated us with the newest information cuz,I do love Cuba the most ❤️❤️❤️🙏


Monday 21st of December 2020

I’m not going to Cuba to stay jailed in hotel or a rental room that so crazy I have no , idea where should I go?


Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

My friend just went to Varadero Cuba, he says the rules are different when it comes to Quarantine, 24hrs in a hotel and your free to roam around cuba, you must get w paper from nurse that your safe. He also mentioned that the clubs are opened. So could be interesting for you.. He's off to Havana today, so I'll keep you posted on the bar status in Havana..


Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

If Cuba is not your cup of tea at the moment I recommend Cancun, everything is open there. Rules are less strict. Enjoy your vacation.


Saturday 19th of December 2020

You can order food from the restaurant and they will deliver to your home address, that's what I was told. I chose to come to a hotel instead where i had a restaurant and facilities near by.