Cuba Will Soon Welcome Tourists Without Quarantine — Here's What You Need to Know
Cuba is almost ready to welcome you back for a vacation.
The Caribbean nation is set to ease its COVID-19 travel restrictions in the coming weeks, allowing visitors to bypass quarantine so long as they show proof of vaccination or a recent PCR test before entering.
Reuters reported the new rules will go into effect on Nov. 15. These new relaxed rules are all thanks to the fact that more than 90% of Cuba's population has already received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
"Cuba will be one of the safest sanitary destinations and we believe that we can reach visitations similar to 2019 by the end of next year," Francisco Camps, who supervises Spanish firm Sol Melia's 32 hotels in Cuba, told Reuters.
Visitors will bring a welcome change to Cuba as tourism accounts for more than 10% of its gross domestic product. Over the pandemic, Reuters reported, its tourism numbers dramatically dropped. In 2019, the nation saw more than 4 million visitors. In 2021, it so far has seen just 200,000.
"Old Havana has been sad all this time because there have been no tourists," Ernesto Alejandro Labrada, owner of the Antojos restaurant, told Reuters.
On Cuba additionally reported that tour operators are eagerly getting ready for more visitors and have requested additional assistance to prepare. Officials are also asking for the reactivation of flights from its major markets, including Europe and Canada.
Cuban Minister of Tourism Juan Carlos García also noted in a statement that the country would welcome flights from the U.S., if the U.S. government would allow it.
"We don't think that on the 15th the country's capacities will be full, but we can progressively have an early winter," Garcia said. "It depends on how the markets react, but the scenario is increasingly favorable and we are optimistic."