Are Cuba Travel Restrictions Tightening?

October 14, 2019

National security adviser Bolton recently announced that the current government will tighten regulations on travel to Cuba to fill the loopholes in the tourism industry and limit Cuba’s travel to mainly family visits. But this is what Bolton said. The Ministry of Finance is responsible for issuing specific sanctions, so many expect the Ministry of Finance to formally announce new rules next week. But so far, it has not announced anything. The current result is uncertainty – although there are reports that specific details are indeed coming.

As far as anyone knows, the official travel rules for visiting Cuba are still the same as the rules before Bolton’s vague announcement on April 17th: US citizens need extensive “general licenses” for travel to Cuba, but with some restrictions.

Under the leadership of the Obama administration, Cuba’s travel regulations have been greatly relaxed, which has encouraged the involvement of the tourism industry, and it is. After the change, many airlines began flying to Cuba, although many airlines canceled the initial route due to weak demand (rather than any government restrictions). Similarly, according to the liberalization rules, cruise companies began to arrange stops at Cuban ports, and US hoteliers began to seek to establish strongholds in major Cuban centres. Both companies may be hurt by new restrictions. The Trump administration has discussed Cuba’s travel restrictions, but the current technical travel procedures remain largely unchanged.

“The Cuban cruise is a “legal travel exemption” under Chapter 3 of the Helms Burton Act,” said the International Association of Boating (CLIA), which may limit restrictions on Cuban cruise ships. “Our member cruise company has and is now being explicitly authorized by the US federal government for legal Cuban travel……… Cuban cruises have important social and cultural exchanges between the American people and the Cuban people. They also provided The urgently needed entrepreneurial opportunities directly bring important economic benefits to the Cuban people.”

As a result, the announcement of the upcoming Cuban travel restrictions, which subsequently did nothing, made the travel industry and travellers dejected. No one in the business knows how to solve a service plan, hire an employee, and do everything the travel provider has to do.

Individual travellers do not know whether to cancel the planned Cuban trip or stop planning Cuban travel. In the field of travel blogs, there is a general consensus that any new regulations announced by the Ministry of Finance will be any existing arrangements and commitments of the “grandfather”. But this is just a guess, not a fact.

It is speculated that the Ministry of Finance will issue clarification rules “soon”, but there are signs that “very soon” will be weeks instead of days. After that, the restrictions may revert to the previous pre-open version, but it is not certain that the rules may be looser or more restrictive than before.

Currently, if you are considering visiting Cuba, be vigilant or start developing Plan B.