New US Government Restrictions Make It Much Harder to Travel to Cuba
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
The Trump administration announced on Wednesday that it’s imposing new travel and commerce restrictions on Cuba. In all, the new restrictions will make it harder for US citizens to visit the island nation. The new regulations will take effect on Thursday.
American citizens will be banned from doing business, including tourism-oriented business, with entities with links to Cuba’s military. You can expect to see restrictions on business dealings from everything from hotels to tourist agencies, rum makers, stores and more. In addition, the regulations will restrict US citizens from visiting Cuba with “people-to-people” visas, as is now the case as long as your visit falls into one of 12 categories.
If you’re looking to go, you’ll now have to go as part of an organized, US-owned company tour group. A representative from the tour group must accompany you on your travels.
The Trump administration released a list of hotels, marinas, stores and more that are owned by the Cuban military, which US citizens are now banned from visiting. The list includes 84 hotels around the country. Notably, the Sheraton in Havana is not on the list.
“We have strengthened our Cuba policies to channel economic activity away from the Cuban military and to encourage the government to move toward greater political and economic freedom for the Cuban people,” said US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
On a few quick searches with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways, flights to Cuba are still bookable. According to the new regulations, if you have previously authorized travel booked and have completed at least one travel-related transaction (such as purchasing a flight or hotel reservation) prior to the June 16, 2017, announcement that stricter restrictions would eventually be implemented, you’ll still be allowed to go.
During his tenure, President Obama ended tough, decades-long restrictions on travel between the two nations, making it easier for American citizens to visit Cuba.
Airlines will surely be affected by these new regulations, as tourists will no longer be able to freely book their own flights directly with the airline. Instead, all travel to Cuba will have to go through an organized tour group. We will likely see cuts to frequencies offered on routes between the US and Cuba.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.