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Cuba Travel Alert

Issued by US Department of State

Oct 09, 2009

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the quarantine measures imposed by the Government of Cuba in response to the 2009-H1N1 pandemic that may affect travel to Cuba. This Travel Alert expires on January 7, 2010.

In April 2009, Cuba implemented a policy that allows it to quarantine arriving passengers who exhibit fever or flu-like symptoms. Although the overall percentage of U.S. citizens being quarantined remains low, the nature of the selection process makes it almost impossible to predict when a traveler may be placed into quarantine.

Cuba has reported confirmed cases of H1N1 and has quarantined the cases, including foreign travelers and residents, until their recovery. Cuban authorities screen travelers coming into Cuba by asking them to fill out a questionnaire regarding their current health status. If travelers are identified as being ill with flu-like symptoms in the airport, they may be evaluated by local medical personnel with the potential for treatment and quarantine at a Cuban hospital. The Government of Cuba directs that individuals staying or residing in Cuba, including diplomats, who are exhibiting flu-like symptoms, report to the hospital where they are normally treated. If the hospital suspects that the individual may have H1N1, they will be immediately quarantined for treatment.

Please note that the U.S. Department of State usually cannot interfere with the rights of other countries to screen airline passengers entering or exiting their countries, nor can it influence the number of days in quarantine.Because these outbreak-related delays, which could include several days of quarantine (the standard period is six days), may affect planned activities and lead to unexpected costs, CDC strongly recommends that travelers consider purchasing travel insurance.U.S. citizens are reminded that the U.S. government imposes restrictions on travel to Cuba. For further information, please see our Consular Specific Information for Cuba.

For more information on U.S. Government policy during a pandemic, and for travel safety information, please see the State Department's "Pandemic Influenza Fact Sheet," and "Options During a Pandemic" flyers. Further information about 2009-H1N1 Influenza, including steps you can take to stay healthy, can be found at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control website, the U.S. Government's federal influenza website, and the World Health Organization website.U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the Department of State's travel registration website. By registering, American Citizens can receive the Embassy's most recent security and safety updates during their trip. Registration also ensures that U.S. citizens can be reached should an emergency arise either abroad or at home. While consular officers will do their utmost to assist Americans in a crisis, travelers should always be aware that local authorities bear primary responsibility for the welfare of people living or traveling in their jurisdictions.

The U.S. Interests Section is located at Calzada between L and M Streets. The American Citizen Services section can be contacted during regular business hours at 537 833-3551 and for after-hours emergencies at 537 833-2302.

Travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States or outside the United States and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.

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