By Mayté Solano Gómez

It was announced this Friday, October 16 that international tourism operations in Cuba will resume from this Monday, October 19th, as part of the return to the new normal on the island. Although this will not happen in all parts of the country, 13 may be visited by foreign tourists.

These 13 provinces are:

• Pinar del Río (Viñales)

• Artemisa

• Mayabeque

• Matanzas (Varadero)

Cienfuegos

Villa Clara

Camagüey

• Las Tunas

• Granma

• Holguín

Santiago de Cuba

• Guantánamo (Baracoa)

• Special Municipality of Isla de la Juventud

All airports open for commercial flights, except Havana

Regarding international mobility, the Minister of Transportation pointed out that all international airports for commercial flights are open, except for the Havana airport, which will remain limited to humanitarian and cargo flights for the time being.

In the case of open airports, Cubans and foreign residents and non-residents will be allowed entry. People will no longer be transferred to isolation centers, but all passengers arriving in the country must fill out the health declaration and take a free PCR test.

Passengers will be limited to 2 items of luggage in the hold up to a maximum of 32 kg each, a measure adopted to speed up movements at airports.

International tourism operations in Cuba resumes

International tourism activities will also be gradually restarted in these destinations, complying with the new hygienic-sanitary measures that guarantee the safety of clients and workers and according to how quickly the number of tourists increases.

Accommodation in private rental houses is also resumed, except currently in Sancti Spíritus- Trinidad, Ciego de Ávila and Havana.

Other measures announced by the Cuban Minister of Tourism are:

• Excursions and outings can once again be booked in all those areas which have completely reopened.

• In Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo and Cayo Cruz, the excursions will take place within the keys. Tourists will not be able to travel to Ciego de Ávila because they are in the transmission phase.

• Commercial and leisure maritime activities can also resume in all reopened areas of the country.

• Car rental is now functioning normally.

Hygiene and safety protocols in tourist facilities and services

With the advice of the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Tourism of Cuba has implemented a series of hygiene and safety measures, for the protection of workers and clients. Doctors, nurses and graduates in hygiene and epidemiology will be available 24 hours a day.

Among the prevention measures are:

• The daily measurement of body temperature from a distance for workers and customers.

• Immediate referral to a health center for any worker with respiratory symptoms.

• If you suspect you have symptoms of the virus, immediately inform the health authorities.

• Mandatory disinfection of hands and surfaces.

• Physical distance of 1.5 meters for all tasks, avoiding physical contact. In places where it is not possible, other security measures will be introduced.

• Activities in open spaces are encouraged.

• All equipment used in the cooking and serving of food will be disinfected after each use.

• Mandatory use of a “nasobuco” or disposable mask by all workers in common areas, as well as for customers in common areas where it is not possible to maintain social distancing.

• On excursions, customer’s temperatures before boarding the bus, by the guides of the travel agencies. In the event of the presence of clients with symptoms, the health authorities will be informed.

Measures to be met in Casas particulares

Casa particular in Old Havana, International tourism operations in Cuba
Casa particular in Old Havana, Cuba

Owners of private houses must immediately report the presence of guests with respiratory symptoms and have disinfectant substances (hypochlorite, alcohol, or others) for the decontamination of surfaces and hands, available to customers. Maintaining physical distance from guests is important.

Anyway, if you already had a flight booked to travel to Cuba or you plan to do so in the coming months, contact your airline and get up to date details. For your accommodation, you can count on Cuba Casa to book the best private houses in the country, transfers and excursions, or to give advice concerning all aspects of your holiday.