The Cuban Ministry of Public Health has recently published an update for the new protocols to enter the country for 2022. Read on and find out what's changed!
A new year brings new challenges
There are very few cities on earth that know how to chime in a new year like Havana, in Cuba. Known for its unique atmosphere, unrivalled live music scene, as well as dance clubs and cocktail bars all over the city, there are few better places to be than the “Pearl of the Caribbean”.
However, following the rise of the Omicron variant, the Cuban Ministry of Public Health has decided to act quickly in order to preserve the encouraging state in which the island finds itself regarding COVID-19.
How Cuba is fighting back against COVID-19
Cuba's stance against the pandemic has always been one of determination and resolve. For an island that relies heavily on tourism, it is in Cuba's interest to protect the tourism industry. And this is just what they've gone about doing.
Indeed, as we begin the new year, the island's quarantine requirement ended in November and 90% of the islanders have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Officially, Cuba re-opened on 15th November when flights resumed to international airports in Havana, Varadero and other destinations of the island, and even though still in its relative infancy again after the pandemic, the tourist sector in Cuba is starting to blossom.
What are Cuba's new protocols regarding arriving in the country?
The new measures, which will come into effect from the 5th of January, state that for travellers from the UK it will be mandatory to present proof of a completed vaccination schedule at the point of entry, and a negative PCR test must be shown, taken a maximum of 72 hours prior to the trip.
For travellers arriving from South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Malawi and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), the above measure also apply, but in addition, you must quarantine for eight days in a hotel designed for that purpose, the traveller assuming the costs of accommodation and transportation. A new sample will then be taken on the seventh day, and if negative, the traveller will be discharged from quarantine on the eighth day.
Similarly, if travellers arrive on a boat or cruise ship, they will not be allowed to disembark until a negative test result can be shown. What's more, for the staff and personnel of the aforementioned ships or indeed any aeroplane flight crew, the presentation of an International Vaccination Certificate against COVID-19 must be presented.
Testing positive for COVID-19 when in Cuba
If any traveller tests positive for COVID-19 whilst on holiday in Cuba, they will be admitted to specific health institutions designated for that purpose localised across the island.
All direct contacts of these travellers will be isolated in designated isolation centres, or in their own place of accommodation, as long as the governmental isolation conditions can be adhered to.
The Cuban government also aims to continue accelerating the application of booster doses across all the island's territories in correspondence with existing availability.
Cuba, continuing the fight against COVID-19 into the new year
With these new protocols in place, it is hoped that the rise of the Omicron variant can be stemmed and that the tourism sector in Cuba can keep flourishing, as it has done since November.
Cuba has vaccinated more of its citizens against COVID-19 than most of the world's largest and richest nations and ever since the pandemic began, Cuban scientists spent much of 2020 and 2021 developing the five anti-COVID vaccines to come out of the island's science laboratories.
It's the island's proud history of biological, medicinal, and virological excellence that has kept Cuba fighting COVID-19, mainly because the Centre for State Control of Medicines, Equipment and Medical Devices (CECMED) has been working with the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) for years, and is considered one of the eight reference centres and the highest level in the region.
Here's to some late winter and early spring sunshine on the long white sandy beaches again soon!
Produced in collaboration
with the Cuba Tourist Board.