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What you’ll need to know before travelling to Cuba from South Africa during COVID-19

The latest on quarantine status, COVID-19 vaccine and test requirements and local restrictions for South Africans travelling to Cuba.

originCovidCaseResp: 2290
destCovidCaseResp: 8073
The Caribbean island of Cuba is a fan favourite for holiday makers from all around the world, including people from South Africa, seeking sunshine, culture and colour.

It began welcoming tourists again in late 2020, but travelling to Cuba from South Africa isn't exactly like it was before.

Can I travel from South Africa to Cuba?

Cuba is open for tourists from around the world, including those able to come from South Africa.

When you arrive from South Africa, you will have to enter quarantine at your own expense and take two PCR tests: one on arrival, the other on your fifth day. These must both return negative before South Africans are released and able to continue on your journey.

Latest information for Cuba

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Number of cases in past 7 daysBorder statusVaccine required?
8073ClosedNo

COVID-19 statistics in Cuba vs South Africa

Getting to Cuba and travelling around once there

Which entry points in Cuba are open to travellers from South Africa?

Cuba has multiple points of entry, and the following are accepting international travellers from South Africa:
  • Open Airports: Havana (José Martí) International Airport
  • Open Ports: Cruise ships around the world have been ground to a halt and Cuban ports are only open for essential sailings.

As a traveller from South Africa, can I travel anywhere once I'm in Cuba?

Yes, once in Cuba, South Africans are free to travel anywhere.

What's open in Cuba?

Some tourist attractions that have been luring people from South Africa to Cuba have reopened, however, they're subject to close or be suspended whenever local rules change in response to new cases.

Major tourist attractions that are open:

Attractions that are open to South African tourists outside of curfew hours include:
  • Malecon
  • Vinales Valley
  • National Capitol Building
  • Castillo De Los Tres Reyes Del Morro
  • Museum of the Revolution
  • Paseo del Prado
  • Castillo de la Real Fuerza

  • Walking trails, parks and beaches: National and public parks are currently open for tourists and locals. However, these are closed during curfew hours. Beaches in Havana are currently closed due to restrictions. Beaches outside of the city are open with capacity limits in place. These beaches are also being heavily patrolled to manage their access and numbers. While public pools in Havana are closed, paid swimming pools can stay open with limited capacity and visit times to allow for cleaning between sessions.
  • Shopping centres and stores: All shops across Cuba can remain open with measures in place to reduce crowding. These include a limit on the number of customers who can be in the shop at any one time. During peak periods, this means that you may have to queue and wait your turn to go into the store. In Havana, only shops that stock essential items, such as food and hygiene products, may remain open. They must also abide by the curfew rules.
  • Restaurants, cafes and bars: While restaurants throughout Cuba are open, they must maintain good hygiene practices. This includes limiting their opening hours and their capacity limits and maintaining a physical distance of 1.5 metres between each table. In Havana, the rules are much stricter. Restaurants may only open for takeaway or delivery and drinking alcohol in public is not permitted. Parties of any kind are also banned.

Can I cruise to or around Cuba?

No, South Africans can't currently cruise to Cuba as sailings are still on hold for the moment due to the pandemic with no set date to commence. However, if people from South Africa are itching to set sail, you can book a future cruise as most companies are offering flexible cancellation policies.

What are the entry requirements for Cuba coming from South Africa?

Do I need a permit to enter Cuba?

South African citizens do not need a special permit to enter Cuba at this time, however standard visa requirements, including tourist cards, are still in place where needed.

Do I need proof I've had a vaccine to travel?

No, proof of a vaccine is not required to enter Cuba from South Africa.

Do I need proof I've had a negative test before departing Cuba?

Anyone travelling from South Africa must present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no later than 72 hours before their departure to Cuba.

When you arrive from South Africa into Cuba you'll be re-tested for COVID-19 and placed into a government chosen facility until your results return. If people from South Africa return negative, they'll be given a second test and if that also returns negative again, you’re free to leave quarantine.

Frequently asked questions about travelling from South Africa to Cuba:

Current travel deals to Cuba

Whether or not now is the right time to travel to Cuba, these deals are ready to go as soon as you are. Many companies are offering flexible travel options to Cuba or are discounting future travel, so it's a great time to bag a bargain.

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