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Important information - traveling to Cuba

Here you will always find up-to-date information about Cuba

Food supply in Cuba

Status 26 March 2024: Contrary to many reports in the social media, we can once again report that the food supply in Cuba has improved significantly in terms of volume. Although domestic production is relatively weak, many private companies are importing food and selling it freely.
All standard household products are available at all times. Eggs, butter, milk and other domestically produced dairy products are always difficult to obtain. Milk powder is particularly difficult to obtain.
A pound of pork costs around 600 to 800 Cuban pesos. For foreigners, this is 2 to 5 US dollars, depending on the exchange rate.

I've been back in Cienfuegos for a week and have realised that the shops are full. You still have to visit several shops to get everything you need for the household. The import of goods naturally affects the price. This makes it very difficult economically for a Cuban family that lives solely on the income from working for a state-owned company. It helps that almost all Cubans have their own free flat and that water and electricity cost almost nothing.

In the meantime, however, there are also many small companies (here called MiPyME - "micro, pequeña o mediana empresa" - "mini, small or medium-sized enterprise") from all sectors that are conquering the "new" free market. The employees there often earn 20 to 30 times as much as the employees of state-owned companies. They produce, trade or provide services.

A few photos that my wife took this week while shopping in a shop in Cienfuegos. Photos from 24 March 2024

food store in Cienfuegos

food store in Cuba

canned food in Cuba

food you need in Cuba

tinned food in Cuba

Exchange rate, Euros and US Dollar in Cuba

Status 26 March 2024: We currently advise all our customers to inform themselves carefully about exchange rates. Euros and US dollars are traded at very high rates, as there is always a shortage of foreign currency in Cuba. Many services can only be paid for in cash in euros. ATMs in Cuba do not dispense euros or US dollars. It is therefore important to always have sufficient cash. There are many shops stocked with imported goods that only accept credit cards. In our download area you will find an updated list of what is paid where and with which currency. It is very important to read this before travelling.

Covid 19 - Cuba entry from May 1th, 2022 without of proof of vaccination or PCR test

Status April 17, 2022: From May 1st, 2022, entry into Cuba will again be possible without proof of the Covid 19 vaccination and without a PCR test. The number of new infections as of April 16, 2022 nationwide totaled 292 people (population 11.3 million).

Status January 1, 2022: The Cuban Ministry of Health published the following on December 30, 2021.
Measures intended for international hygiene control:
For travelers arriving in Cuba (except from the African countries mentioned below), regardless of whether they are resident in Cuba or not, the following applies:
- It is mandatory to provide a full vaccination schedule upon entry.
- The negative result of a PCR test, which was carried out a maximum of 72 hours before the trip, is mandatory.
- Random surveillance is stepping up, starting with the performance of random PCR tests at the border, by travelers from high risk countries.

- Children up to 12 years of age, of any nationality or origin.
- Adults who, for medical reasons and duly certified, cannot be vaccinated with any of the vaccines approved by the relevant regulatory authorities to date.

For travelers from South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Malawi and Eswatini the following also applies:
- You carry out an eight-day compulsory quarantine in a designated hotel, with the traveler paying for accommodation and transport himself.
- On the seventh day, a new sample is taken, which, in the event of a negative result, enables the patient to be released from quarantine on the eighth day.

Status September 11, 2021: The Havana Ministry of Tourism announced on September 6, 2021 that entry to Cuba will be simplified from November 15, 2021. All that is required for entry is the presentation of a valid Covid 19 vaccination certificate. A PCR test will then no longer be necessary. Quarantine for several days for normal tourists is also dispensed with.
Until then, our customers are relieved that the quarantine does not apply when arriving directly on one of our yachts.

The Cuban government estimates that 90% of the population will be fully vaccinated by the beginning of November.

Vaccination situation Cuba:

Since the beginning of September 2021, children from 2 years of age have also been vaccinated in Cuba. You will be vaccinated with one dose of Soberana 02 and one Dosies Soberana Plus.

Status August 17, 2021: Our holiday guests only have to carry out a rapid corona test upon arrival in Havana or Santiago. If the result is negative (no corona), you can drive directly to the marina and set sail without further testing. If the Corona rapid test is positive (corona viruses are detected), a PCR test is taken and the holidaymaker must be in quarantine until a negative PCR test is detected. The 3G rules (vaccinated, healthy or tested) that are now used in Europe are not yet applied in Cuba.

Since the rules keep changing, we recommend asking us about the current test concept. We are also happy to help other Cuban travelers who are not our customers.

Vaccination situation and corona numbers Cuba:

Almost 80% of Cubans are currently vaccinated at least once. The Cuban vaccines are administered 3 times with an interval of 10 days. Approximately 25% of the population are fully vaccinated. The number of new infections has leveled off at a high level of around 9,000 cases a day in the last 14 days. The number of cases is probably stagnating due to the general staff-like vaccination campaign. Cities like Cienfuegos were completely "vaccinated" within 4 to 5 days with the first vaccination at the end of July. Now everyone is hoping for falling numbers as they already showed after the vaccination campaign in the stronghold of the province of Matanzas.

Status July 3, 2021: In Havana, almost the entire population was vaccinated with the first dose. The number of infections in Havana has been falling sharply for 1 week. At the same time, vaccination campaigns are currently being carried out in all severely affected provinces. Organizationally, this is very easy in Cuba. In Cuba there is a family doctor practice for every 200 families. In some provinces (except Havana), the number of infections has risen more sharply during the last weeks. For this reason, measures to reduce contacts have been introduced again.

In Cuba, more than 30% of the population is vaccinated with the first dose. Approx. 15% of the population already has the full vaccination protection that is achieved with the Cuban vaccines Soberana and Abdala after the third dose.

Status May 25, 2021: Very often we welcome guests who spend their quarantine on one of our boats in order to get to know the beautiful island world. The results of the PCR tests are transmitted from the airport to the Marina Cienfuegos within 24 to 48 hours. From time to time it takes up to 72 hours until the result is available. As soon as the result of the PCR test is available, the journey can begin.

Status April 22, 2021: The return journey to Germany is straightforward. A PCR test in Cuba is required to enter Germany. This must not be older than 48 hours when entering Germany. We did the test in the International Clinic in Cienfuegos. Costs 30 euros. Payment by credit card. We received the result after 24 hours in writing and by email. We filled out the entry form to Germany on the Internet. This must be presented together with the result of the PCR test at the airport before departure. In Germany we contacted the health department. An immediate "quick test" was required from us. We should do a second "quick test" after 5 days. After that we can move freely in Germany again.

Conclusion: Nothing complicated at all.

Status April 10, 2021: The 7-day incidence is still around 70 per 100,000 inhabitants. There are many infections, especially in Havana. In Cienfuegos, where our marina is located, the 7 day incidence is 35 to 50. Before we traveled from Germany to Cuba on April 2nd, 2021, we completed a PCR test in Germany. Next PCR test directly at the airport upon arrival. Then we went straight to Cienfuegos on one of our yachts. We have a special permit for our customers for this transfer. As soon as the result of the airport test is available (after approx. 24 hours) you can start your charter. We did not leave the port with the ship (that was also not planned) and were able to leave the quarantine after 4 days on the ship. Life in the city goes on as usual. Most restaurants are closed and there is a kind of curfew from 5:00 p.m. Of course, none of this is noticeable when you are traveling by ship. In Cayo Largo, a fever is measured by the local medical team upon arrival by ship. Then you can move freely. The restaurant there is open. There are no restrictions whatsoever on the many uninhabited islands. The PCR tests necessary for the return journey to Germany can be done at any international clinic (approx. 30 euros) that is available in every major city. Result comes within 8 to 24 hours.

Conclusion: You can still travel to Cuba - yacht charter is running.

Status March 19, 2021: After an increase in the nationwide 7-day incidence from less than 10 in early January 2021 to just more than 50 in early March 2021, the numbers droped again to less than 45 on March 19, 2021. The reason for this is a logdown in several provinces as well as the entry regulations that came into force at the end of January. We are hopeful that Cuba will soon be removed from the RKI's list of risk areas.

Status March 5, 2021: Cuba has started vaccinating 86,000 Cuban citizens. The vaccinations are part of the final test of study phase 3 for the Soberana 02 vaccine developed in Cuba.

In the meantime, our charter can be continued. We organize the direct transfers from the airport to the marina. After the charter, Havana can be visited.

Status February 28, 2021: Cuba has been declared a risk area by the German institute RKI. The reason for this is that within the last few weeks more than 50 people per 100,000 inhabitants have been infected with Corona within one week. In Germany, more than 60 people per 100,000 are infected every week. The Cuban authorities report that more than 90 percent of those currently infected are in clinical quarantine.

Status February 19, 2021: Yacht Charter customers of the company Platten Sailing Cuba do not have to carry out a second PCR test after 5 days. It is sufficient to wait for the test result of the PCR test at the airport. This will be announced after 12 to 24 hours in the marina in Cienfuegos. After receiving the test result, our charter customers can set off on the ship. Customers should not leave the port during the waiting period. Necessary purchases outside the marina are done by our team on site.

Status February 6, 2021 The Cuban authorities today stipulated that all incoming tourists and all holders of Cuban passports must spend 5 days in a hotel. The authorities determine which hotels can be used for this purpose. This also applies if you can prove a negative PCR test upon entry that is not older than 72 hours at the time of entry. The PCR test at the airport is still mandatory. On the fifth day, another PCR test is taken and evaluated within 24 hours. If this is also negative, the traveler can move freely in the country. These measures should apply for the next few weeks, until the number of cases has dropped slightly again.

According to the latest information, charter customers can spend the quarantine on our ships. The prerequisite is that you have been transferred directly to the marina after entering the country.

Status January 27, 2021 The Cuban authorities have reduced the possibilities of travel for Cuban citizens due to the higher number of cases. Cross-provincial trips are only allowed to tourists if they are traveling from booked hotels in one province to booked accommodations in other provinces. Only taxis with a transport license may be used for trips. Entry into Havana is restricted. Many airlines are currently switching to airports such as Cayo Coco and Varadero. The public buses are hardly ever cross-provincial anymore. Travel from airports to our marina and from our marina to airports is possible without any restrictions. Charter operation is also possible without restriction, as described below. The hotels also continue to operate as described below.

Status January 15, 2021: Due to the increased number of new infections every day (greater than 600 / day in Cuba), inter-provincial traffic is reduced to a minimum. Tourists can still take taxis from the airport to their destination. The return journey to the airport is also possible. Traveling to Havana is particularly difficult if the return flight is not from Havana. Since there is currently a curfew in Havana in the evening and many bars, hotels and event venues are closed, the trip there is only recommended to a limited extent.
In Cienfuegos, daily life is largely normal. There are only inconveniences from partially closed restaurants, bars and event venues.
Sail charter is still possible without any problems. There is no need to wait for the result of the test at the airport if you are traveling directly from the airport to the ship. If you want to disembark in Cayo Largo, you will receive the results of the tests from the airport. The temperature of each crew member is recorded electronically with laser measuring devices. Otherwise there are no impairments.

Status December 26, 2020: Tourists who rent our ships no longer have to wait for the result of the PCR test carried out on arrival in Cuba in order to set sail with the yacht. The authorities have given us permission. The result will be communicated to the port authorities and us. If the guests want to leave the ship on Cayo Largo for shore leave, the "negative" result of the PCR test must be available by then. The result of the PCR test is regularly available within the promised 24 hours and is communicated to the crew by telephone from the port authorities of Cienfuegos. For tourists staying in hotels or private accommodation, the following applies.

If the test result of a crew member is "positive", the affected crew member must be isolated in a cabin. The journey must then continue on the direct route towards Cienfuegos. If the skipper "falls ill" or there are other complications, the measures must be coordinated in detail with the authorities and our base manager. The health and maritime authorities determine what to do on a case-by-case basis. In an emergency, the entire crew can also be evacuated in Cayo Largo. Cayo Largo has a polyclinic and flies seriously ill tourists directly to Havana.

Status December 25, 2020: According to the official Cubavision news channel (December 25, 2020, 8:00 p.m.) tourists (who are not holders of a Cuban passport) entering Cuba from January 10, 2021 must have a negative PCR test from their home country prove. The test must be carried out less than 72 hours before entering Cuba. It was not reported whether the result must be written in Spanish or whether the airlines are obliged to check the test results before departure.

Status December 16, 2020: When I entered Varadero on a Condor flight on December 11, 2020, I personally experienced the following. On the plane, every passenger has to fill out a one-page form in which they state their state of health and the whereabouts of the next few days. In the arrival hall there is a waiting area where you can wait for the PCR test. Points on the ground exactly mark the distance rules. In approx. 10 to 15 cabins, a PCR test is made for each passenger. Then you go to passport control.

After the passport control, each passenger is measured for increased temperature with a non-contact temperature meter. After receiving your luggage, you can leave the airport for your destination or the marina. The trip can be carried out with the usual public taxis or the hotel bus. In the public space of Cuba as well as on public transport it is mandatory to wear a mouth and nose protection.

Our impression was that the process at the airport is very well organized.

The PCR test is evaluated in Varadero within 12 hours to a maximum of 24 hours. The result is communicated to the local health department at the tourist's whereabouts. Until the result is received, you are officially requested to have no contacts (distance rules, mask requirement in public). You can stay in the area of ​​the marina, the harbor bar can also be visited and the necessary purchases can be made. The trip with the yacht can be prepared. Tourists who are accommodated in a hotel can fully enjoy the amenities of the hotel (restaurant, bar, beach), but are not allowed to leave the hotel (as we know it). The situation is similar for tourists who are accommodated in private accommodation - casa particulares.

The result of the PCR test is available after 12 to 24 hours. A doctor in our marina or at the respective travel destination / location comes to visit and reports on the test result of the PCR test. If the PCR test was negative, a quick test may be carried out. If this test is also negative or if a quick test is not necessary, you will receive a certificate of health. The sailing trip can then begin or the journey can be continued. If the result of the test is not available the next day, the responsible employees of our marina or hotel will call the health authorities and ask for the result by telephone.

We recommend having a PCR test carried out in your home country before leaving to ensure that there is no disease.

We work closely with the German Embassy in Havana and inform each other about the current situation.
Read more at Travel Information Cuba - Federal Foreign Office

The Austrian federal government does not classify Cuba as a risk area.
Read more at the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs

(As of: 2020-01-16)

Health information

Corona virus

Status 26 November 2020: The corona virus has also reached Cuba. The pandemic was largely stifled by restrictive contact measures. There is a lot of testing going on in Cuba. In Cuba, 17.098 people have so far tested positive for Covid 19, of whom 12.942 have recovered. 162 people died of or with Covid 19. (Source: John Hopkins Institute) After Cuba was almost corona-free, further cases in Havana and returning travelers (including doctors and nurses) have now increased the number of cases again. There are currently between 200 and 600 new cases every day. Known cases in Cuba are isolated from the rest of the population and housed in empty hotels or hospitals.

The population and especially the tourism industry are prepared to deal with the viral diseases. The public institutions supply the population with chlorine-based disinfectants and have canceled all public events. The operators of private accommodation - Casa Particulars had information events on dealing with hygiene and dealing with customers.

In Cuba, too, all people were asked to keep a distance of 1.5 to 2 m from other people and to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly.

Until a few days ago, staying in public spaces was only permitted with face masks. In the provinces that are free from Covid 19, the exit and contact restrictions have been reduced. In Havana, public life is still very limited in several parts of the city. Travel beyond the provincial borders is still only possible to a limited extent. The operation of private taxis remains greatly reduced.

Many years ago, Cuba developed a preparation that reduced the symptoms of Covid 19. The drug Interferon Alpha 2B from BioCubaFarma is produced in Cuba and China and has long been used against carcinoma, hepatitis B and dengue. Interferon Alpha 2B paralyzes the virus by destroying the body's own cells.

Homeopathic medicines are currently being distributed to the elderly and people with previous illnesses. These drugs are said to boost the immune system.

Cuba is currently testing 2 vaccines. SOMBERA 01 and FINLAY-FR-1A are in phase 2 and phase 1 clinical trials, respectively. The WHO has also confirmed this. The first vaccine is expected to hit the market from the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021. Amerika 21

A new medical exchange is currently taking place between the institutes in the city of Cambridge (Harvard University, Cambridge Hospital) and the institutes in Havana. The handling and treatment of Covid 19 in Cuba is exemplary. The mortality is very low. The city of Cambridge regrets that drugs such as Biomodulin T and human recombinant interferon Alpha 2B are not available for treatment in the USA. Amerika 21

Statistics and information can also be found on

Political situation

Status 26 March 2024: No special political events at the moment.

Economy and tourism in Cuba

Status 26 March 2024: Privatisation is progressing. It is now permitted to import cars. A lot of food is imported. Many small entrepreneurs work in services, production and trade. In some areas, it can be seen that the state is withdrawing from some sectors of the economy and leaving the field to free entrepreneurs.

At the same time, the state continues to try to control the changes. For example, petrol and diesel were heavily subsidised until the end of 2023. With a good exchange rate, foreigners could buy a litre of fuel for just a few cents. In January 2024, the state then reduced the subsidies. Foreigners now pay around 1.2 euros for a litre of petrol or diesel. The supply of petrol and diesel to locals is severely limited, as the planned economy has probably purchased too little petrol and diesel. The black market for combustion fuels is very large.

Status 01 January 2020: The country is suffering from the lack of tourism due to Covid 19.

According to our latest information, the government plans to reopen the country to tourism soon. Starting with the offshore islands such as Cayo Largo, Cayo Coco and Cayo Santa Maria. Canada's airlines will probably fly there first. There is currently no clear start date for European airlines. It all depends on when Cuba opens the country to tourism and when Cuba is removed from the list of risk areas.

We work closely with the AHK - German Chamber of Commerce in Cuba. The AHK employees represent the German economy in Cuba and organize, among other things, delegation trips. You are an important link between our commercial enterprises at the German Embassy and the state of Cuba.

Website of the AHK in Cuba