What Canada Says about Travel to Cuba

September 15, 2017 |

Cuban Army officers and soldiers working in the cleanup effort. Photo: Ismael batista / granma.cu

HAVANA TIMES – On September 11, two days before the US government put out a warning against travel to Cuba, Canada also published a travel advisory for its citizens. The Canadian government says the information is still valid today Sept. 15th.

Whether to maintain travel plans has been a difficult topic for so many people who are/were going to visit the island in the coming days, weeks or months for different reasons.  It is clearly not a cut and dry matter as any advisories can be modified or lifted.

One of the big issues for travel companies is financial, as they prefer not to assume losses for justified cancellations if at all possible. At the same time travelers want specific information on the hotels and areas where they plan to visit in order to make a good decision on what to do.

Canada sends Cuba around 40% of all its foreign tourists and here is what that country’s government recommends:

CUBA – There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Cuba. Exercise normal security precautions.

Risk Level/s

File photo of the Canadian embassy in Havana.

Provinces of Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Villa Clara, Matanzas and Havana – AVOID ALL TRAVEL

Global Affairs Canada advises against all travel to the provinces of Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Villa Clara, Matanzas and Havana, including the Cuban Keys along the north shore of these provinces.

Provinces of Guantanamo, Holguin and Las Tunas – AVOID NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL

Global Affairs Canada advises against non-essential travel to the provinces of Guantanamo, Holguin and Las Tunas, due to Hurricane Irma.

Travel Health Notice – Zika virus

The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued advice for travelers on the Zika virus, recommending that Canadians practice special health precautions while traveling in affected countries. Pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant should avoid travel to Cuba.

Havana Times will keep you informed if there are any new advisories.

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What's your opinion?

  • Moses Patterson

    Harder times for the Cuban economy are on the way.

    • It really is Moses, I was scheduled to fly to Camaguey (my 2nd home) Sept 12th. Problem is only Sunwing at this time of year flies down and all flights have been cancelled until Nov. 1st. I booked the 15th just to be on the safe side.

      • Holguinero

        Three of my friends are flying to Holguin tomorrow September 17th. They are flying on Cubana Air. They have been warned. However, the allure of Cuba beckons them.

    • Carlyle MacDuff

      One can only sympathize with the people of Cuba. My wife tells me that 400 metres of the coastal highway running from Matanzas to Havana was washed away at Santa Cruz del Norte. The affects of the usually high temperature at this time of year are much more severe as the humidity is very high and with no refrigeration there are not any cold drinks making life difficult especially for children.
      You are correct Moses, one only needs to read the e-mails from would-be tourists on this site to observe that a serious reduction in tourism revenues is inevitable and with it a reduction in income for employees in the industry from tips. The latter is a significant problem.

  • Connie

    Are all beaches in Varadero open and in good shape. Booked for Sept 23. At barchelo arenas blancas.

  • therealsnowman

    I wish your Country had greater access to outside materials, as with most Countries the job of clean up and restoration after such a severe natural disaster is difficult enough, but with a trade embargo on top of it all will mean an even more difficult job. The only advantage you have is in the strength of your people. You will come through this and Cuba will be again that much more beautiful and stronger than before the effects of Irma. I am hoping my Country of Canada will do it’s part by giving humanitarian aid to you where it is needed most. I wish you all both safety and prosperity in your future. My visit to Havana has change my world and I am thankful for your people giving me a different way of seeing life. To be thankful for what I have, to smile and to always be kind and lend a helping hand to others. Hoping more people will soon have the chance to come visit and learn as I have.

    • Carlyle MacDuff

      There is absolutely nothing preventing Cuba from importing building and repair materials. If you know of any such materials that are prevented from entry by the US embargo, do please list them ‘therealsnowman’. Otherwise, just admit that you have been ‘had’ by the Cuban propaganda.

      • therealsnowman

        Building materials. Cuban infrastructure, buildings, and tourist facilities need upgrading, modernization, and expansion. Such needs are imminent and will provide immediate opportunities for U.S. exporters of building materials if U.S. restrictions are lifted. This taken from US Exporters restriction to Cuba

        • Carlyle MacDuff

          The US is not the sole supplier of building materials. For example cement in Cuba comes from Mexico and Russia (with asbestos included) plus production within Cuba. Restriction upon US producers doesn’t prevent importation of materials from other countries.

          • Frank Anderson

            Proclamation 3447 signed by President Kennedy on Feb. 3, 1962, established the embargo against Cuba to reduce “the threat posed by its alignment with the communist powers.”
            Get with the current situation. The U.S. Embargo is out of date and serves no useful purpose, other than the usual US one of do as I say not as I do. Perhaps they should concentrate on better treatment for ‘coloured’ people in their own country.

          • Carlyle MacDuff

            Obviously Mr. Anderson you have not read my contributions to Havana Times or my book, ‘Cuba Lifting the Veil’, 9refer to the web) for if you had, you would know that I have commented for years that the US embargo having clearly failed in its actual objectives many years ago – I have quoted the US Cuba Democracy Act and in particular Section 1708(b)(3), and 22. U.S.C. (section) 6007(b)(3) which describe the purposes and actions necessary for lifting the embargo- and that it ought to have been reconsidered many years ago as its only use is by the Castro regime as an excuse to the people of Cuba for their own incompetence, mismanagement and failed policies.
            Secondly, I have repeatedly written here of the racism that is rife in Cuba led by the MININT goons who are controlled by Alejandro Castro Espin, Raul’s son and which my wife and I have personally experienced.
            As for “get with the current situation”, as I explained, my home is in Cuba where I shall be in a matter of hours, not days, so I can assure you of my being up to date.
            So, in conclusion to your remarks, yes, I am aware of the folly of US policies towards Cuba and indeed towards other North and South American countries commencing in 1823 with the Monroe Doctrine. It is you Frank, who need to get up to date with the realities of Cuba, with the oppression, the repression of free speech and the press. I can also tell you that right now – e-mail half an hour ago – that the biggest concern is Maria which may compound the current difficulties.
            I doubt if I shall be able to read your response prior to my departure home, where we cannot access the Internet – communism detests access to information! Those of such persuasion who do so here, are only able to because they live in capitalist countries and have freedom of speech.

          • IloveCuba

            Lets face it. The United States of America is the worlds laughing stock. It is a country that is so full of itself, it can’t see the forest for the trees. I would much rather live in a society like the Cuban people live in than subject myself to the way of the United States. I hope beyond hope that Cuba remembers the fight they fought to revolutionize their country and never ever allow the demented ways of the United States to seep into their land. As long as a Country has a leader like the Donald, they have no business even speaking about the ways of life in any other country. They are swirling around the preverbial bowl, and I for one look forward to the flush.

    • Moses Patterson

      Your visit to Cuba changed your world? Really? The lessons you mentioned, “To be thankful for what I have, to smile and to always be kind and lend a helping hand to others.” You didn’t know this before your visit? Where are you really from?

      • therealsnowman

        Even in Canada where we have so much Mr. Patterson, people have become less thankful for what they have and we have become such a materialistic society always wanting more, regardless of how much we have. Yes we have happy faces here, but also many unhappy ones and unhappy for unbelievable reasons. Yes Havana changed my world. Seeing people with so little, at times lining up for items that we just take for granted (and be totally outraged to do so) and still smile. For me yes life changing. I was like others mentioned above, having so much and not thankful as I should be. Believe me I am so thankful now. People living here where I live can also live across the hall from each other for years and not know them by name, so you forget the helping hand. Don’t get me wrong neighbours help neighbours, but the need is not as great as what I had experienced in Havana, which i think has made for a more tight knit society. Here we mostly mind our own business ( which is also important, not meaning one should be nosey ) But this closeness that I experienced in Havana also moves people to be better friends. The guy or gal across the hall could possibly be a best friend, but a society that sometimes refrain from even making eye contact doesn’t get along very well. In all of this and my previous comments, I can only speak for myself and my experiences. But I have read many, many comments online on sites like tripadvisor and others and so often reading of the best experience was with the people so perhaps it is not only I who has had life changing event. Finally might I ask…” and where are you from” ?

        • Moses Patterson

          What you experienced in Cuba happens all over the world, mostly in third world countries, where people live in survival mode for generations on end. It is a function of our human nature to cooperate and accept our current conditions when the likelihood of these conditions are not subject to change in the near future. That said, I am pleased that you had this experience in Cuba. You can thank the Castro dictatorship for subjugating the Cuban people to Castro-style socialism for 3 generations to create the backdrop for your getting in touch with your better angels.

  • N.J. Marti

    The U.S. Is in the best position to supply humanitarian assistance. Hopefully differences can be set aside for a brief period to help. Suspend the embargo and let aid come in to Cuba to rebuild their economy and agriculture to a minimal sustainable level. The whole concept of the embargo bringing democracy to Cuba is foolish these many decades in. A suspension may lead to a longterm resolution. One can return to a failed policy at any time.

    • Moses Patterson

      The embargo does not prohibit humanitarian aid. Pastors for Peace is one example.

    • Ginni

      Yes, CUBA needs to look at correcting it’s Human Rights Violations toward it’s people and address same before requesting humanitarian assistance from the US. CUBA is in need of an over-haul in humongous way for a long time. The Cuban People need so much in just human comfort for a healthy existence to where the rest of the world is around them.

      • mingming

        uh have you taken a look in the US of A lately?

    • Bal & Shawn Hyler

      In the past the Castro regime denied U.S. aid. We are the imperialists and the Cuban people, as the recent speech by Raul states, are called to defend the revolution at all costs and pull themselves up to victory (he might as well said with spit and duct tape). Another special period of sacrifice and suffering for the Cuban people, for the foreseeable future. May God have mercy on the hopeless and hurting.

  • Grant

    I do not about other people but I intend to help the Cuban people as much as I can.To the Cuban people things can only get better.

    • Moses Patterson

      What is your plan? Have you run it by the Castro dictatorship yet?

  • Carlyle MacDuff

    No ‘therealsnowman’ I am not being had. As my home is in Cuba I know the reality. Yes, of course I am aware of the Helms/Burton Amendment. But if you imagine that it effectively prevents other countries (remember there are a couple of hundred of them) from selling to Cuba, carry on dreaming! I’m not “with the program”, but live in the real world.
    As for which companies are dealing with Cuba, it would take all day to list them, but they do include manufacturers of the wide range of electrical goods, building materials and that bubbly sugar soaked US speciality COCA COLA!
    But if it suits your imagination to consider that the US is all-powerful,that’s fine.

  • Marie Chaput Macdonald

    Canada trades with Cuba all the time and the US still trades with us. It is not as you say therealsnowman. I shall be arriving myself on Tuesday night. Hope I can help in some small way.