Cuba will phase out the mandatory quarantine for international travelers arriving in the country starting next November 7, and will require everyone to present an international certificate of vaccination against COVID-19, the Ministry of Public Health (Minsap) reported this Friday.
The Cuban health authorities explained that they decided to modify the International Health Control measures adopted in the community transmission phase because the island currently maintains a decrease in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19. A statement published on the website of the Minsap details the new sanitary measures that will govern for international travelers when they arrive on the island during their stay, in the hotel facilities and for Cuban travelers residing in the country.
The new measures establish for all travelers between November 1 and 7 a 72-hour quarantine until a negative result of a COVID-19 diagnostic test (RT-PCR) performed upon entry to the country. But as of November 15 – when the total reopening of Cuba to international tourism will take place – the mandatory application of the PCR-RT at the border of all travelers entering the Caribbean country will be eliminated.
Likewise, all international travelers (Cuban or foreign) must present a health passport or international certificate of vaccination against COVID-19 of the vaccines approved by the corresponding regulatory agencies. In the case of those travelers who do not present a passport or vaccination certificate, they will have to bring a negative RT-PCR certificate carried out in the country of origin during the 72 hours before traveling.
In this sense, the Public Health authority adds that the International Health Control staff will verify the authenticity of the health certificate or passport with the corresponding means and in the approved terms. In the case of children, he specified that children under 12 years of age will be exempt from presenting a vaccination schedule or RT-PCR test upon arrival in Cuba.
It is also clarified that if an international traveler has “signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or another communicable disease” they will be referred to a health institution where a diagnostic test will be performed. It indicates that if any tourist is confirmed positive for COVID-19 then the established protocol will be applied.
Among the sanitary provisions that are maintained in the reopening, he cites the temperature measurement of all travelers when entering and leaving the country, the mandatory use of a mask and disinfectant solutions for hands, as well as presenting the COVID-19 Medical Insurance. With the next reopening of borders, Cuba tries to regain tourism its second official source of foreign exchange -only behind the sale of professional services abroad- after a year and a half of restrictions and a drastic reduction in visitors caused by the impact. of the pandemic.
Before COVID arrived in Cuba in March 2020, tourism represented the second official source of foreign exchange income and contributed around 10% of the gross domestic product.