Solo Travel to Cuba? Not Yet
Well, as of this date, only group “person to person” travel is permitted. Here’s the latest from the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA):
“The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced new regulations to further implement the policy changes announced by President Obama in December 2014 to engage and empower the Cuban people. The new regulations will be issued in the Federal Register on Monday, September 21 and will be effective immediately.
Among other things, the changes will authorize Americans and American companies to establish a physical presence in Cuba and to open and maintain bank accounts in Cuba; allow Americans to provide goods and services to Cuban national individuals located outside of Cuba; and expand licenses related to telecommunications and internet-based services.
With regard to the travel part of the Cuba regulations, the package makes only limited changes, including:
Carrier Service by Vessel/Lodging Services. The new regulations will allow Americans/American companies to provide carrier services by vessel without the need for specific licenses from OFAC, and add an authorization to provide lodging services aboard such vessels in connection with such transportation.
Family Visits. OFAC will now allow Americans and their family members to visit a close relative located in Cuba or accompany a close relative traveling to Cuba for certain purposes.
Bank Accounts for Authorized Travelers. The new rules allow all authorized travelers to open and maintain bank accounts in Cuba in order to access funds while located in Cuba for authorized transactions.
The new rules do not include a change mentioned in a recent Wall Street Journal article – the creation of an individual license for “people-to-people” cultural exchange travel. Today, to participate in “people-to-people” travel, Americans must travel as part of a group tour.
ASTA will continue to push for that change as well as for enactment of the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act (S. 299/H.R. 664), which will overturn the statutory Cuba travel ban once and for all. We will also keep our members advised on the latest developments on Cuba travel regulations and legislation.”
To learn more about what Cuba travel options are available today, click here.
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