New Restrictions to be Announced on Traveling to Cuba

Restrictions are expected to be announced by President Trump on the matter of traveling to Cuba for U.S. Citizens

Back when President Obama eased the restrictions, tour operators and airlines did not loose any minute. Americans flooded the island’s colonial cities and tobacco-growing plains. More than that, Airbnb added thousands of Cuban homes, while a lot of American airlines began direct flights to the island.

However, new restrictions are expected to be announced today by President Obama that could significantly cut the euphoric boom in American travel to Cuba. It is expected that they will bring back the days before the ease of the restrictions, when Americans could only visit Cuba as part of an organized group rather than on their own. As a consequence, travel to the island was more expensive and less spontaneous.

The current situation brings uncertainty about possible policy changes, making planning a trip more challenging. However, Americans will still be able to visit Cuba, even though only by being a part of an organization that holds a license to take groups to Cuba. Moreover, they will be able to apply to the Treasury Department for a license that will allow them to travel independently.

Visitors to Cuba need a tourist card to enter the country. However, those who travel with a licensed operator benefit from having the tourist card processed as part of the package.

The new policy that prohibits Americans from doing business with the military’s business arm would not apply to airports and seaports. Starting from August, commercial airlines are offering flights to destinations such as Holgun, Santa Clara, Cienfuegos, and Santiago de Cuba.

As for accommodation, it is still unclear where U.S. citizens will stay, due to the fact that the new directive prohibits transactions with companies controlled by the military, which runs vast swaths of the hotel sector. This makes staying at many hotels out of the question.

Cruises will still be available, as mentioned in a statement by Carnival Cruises. It began offering this service in 2016 between Miami and Havana and it will continue to do so.