Health Alert – U.S. Embassy, Havana, Cuba April 16, 2020

Health Alert – U.S. Embassy, Havana, Cuba, April 16, 2020

Location:  Cuba

Event:  The U.S. Embassy is currently working with U.S. airlines in efforts to arrange a humanitarian repatriation flight for U.S. Citizens.

On March 20, 2020, the Cuban government decreed that all foreigners without residency in Cuba MUST depart by March 24, 2020.  This decree further stated that all foreigners remaining after March 24, 2020 WILL be moved into designated isolation facilities until departure, with all expenses to be covered by the individuals.  On March 31, 2020, the Cuban Government declared the airport closed as of April 1, 2020 midnight until further notice.

Since the airport closure, the Cuban government has notified the U.S. Embassy that there are over 800 U.S. citizens without residency status currently in Cuba and that these individuals MUST depart at the earliest possible opportunity and MUST remain in isolation until departure.  A portion of the 800 U.S. citizens are currently permitted to remain in their communities but may be moved into isolation facilities at any time, pursuant to the decree.

The Cuban decree of March 20, 2020 indicated that all Cuban nationals are not permitted to depart Cuba until further notice.  Cuba does not recognize the U.S. nationality of Cuban-born U.S. citizens.  The Cuban government requires Cuban dual nationals to enter and depart Cuba using Cuban passports. Cuban-born U.S. citizens will be treated as Cuban citizens and may be subject to restrictions and obligations.  Only cases involving extreme hardships can request exceptions from the local Cuban Immigration offices, but without such an exception, departure is prohibited.

In addition, all inter-province travel is prohibited except government organized transportation.

The U.S. government has been working with the Cuban government and U.S. airlines to arrange humanitarian repatriation flights for those U.S. citizens and for Cuban Lawful Permanent Residents of the U.S.  However, due to spacing restrictions, we are not able to accommodate all of the requests and those that cannot be provided seats on the flights must continue to remain in Cuba until airport re-opens and airlines can return.

FOR THOSE WHO HAVE SUBMITTED FORMS FOR A POSSIBLE CHARTER FLIGHT:  There will be limited seats on any charter flight.  If demand exceeds the number of seats, repatriations will be prioritized.  Top priority will be given to U.S. citizens deemed at higher risk of severe illness, U.S. citizen minors and their U.S. Citizen parents, or one foreign national parent, followed by all other U.S. citizens, then Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) on a first come first served basis.

IF YOU HAVE BEEN SELECTED FOR A FLIGHT, you will receive confirmation from the U.S. Embassy.  When a charter flight has been scheduled, you will receive a SECOND confirmation from the Embassy with further instructions, flight time, luggage restrictions, ect. Please pay close attention to these details.

If you submitted your data to us previously, DO NOT resubmit it.  We still have your information and will contact you should space become available.

Please DO NOT contact the U.S. Embassy about your flight status.

If you are a U.S. citizen who has not contacted the Embassy previously and are interested in returning to the United States, you should do the following:

  • You must fill out this form (CLICK HERE)  Please do not call the U.S. Embassy to place your name on the list for a possible charter flight.  Submitting the form DOES NOT guarantee a seat on the flight.  The U.S. Embassy will contact you if a flight becomes available.
  • Continue to follow up with airlines about the availability of commercial flights, which could re-start operations before other travel arrangements such as charter flights are available.

Due to COVID-19 concerns, U.S. Embassy is currently only conducting emergency operations.  Therefore, all issues regarding routine services and visas will not be responded to at this time.  For emergency American Citizens Services, please visit our website for additional information

We encourage all U.S. citizens in Cuba to register with the U.S. State Department using the following link: Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), and to monitor the Embassy website and Twitter feed for up-to-date information.

Actions to Take:

  • Maintain communication with the U.S. Embassy in Cuba.
  • Monitor local media for updates.
  • Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19.
  • Visit the Department of State COVID-19 information page for the latest information.
  • Visit our U.S. Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information about conditions in Cuba.