The US just announced major policy changes in its relationship with Cuba and the two countries are working towards normalized diplomatic relations.
This means that soon it’s likely going to get much easier for Americans to travel to Cuba.
It’s worth noting that travel to Cuba is already booming; In 2012 and 2013, more than 90,000 Americans legally visited Cuba, according to the New York Times — and there’s a good chance many more have visited illegally.
But it’s complicated to travel there: Travellers currently need special visas or are required to travel with set tour groups, and there are no direct commercial flights between the US and Cuba.
All of that will likely change soon.
Senior Obama administration officials announced in a press conference call with reporters on Wednesday plans to lift many of its existing travel restrictions. While all of the details have not yet been made clear, an official said the change will include a “number of steps to significantly increase travel, commerce, and the flow of information to and from Cuba.” Officials also noted that the eased travel restrictions would allow more Americans who qualify under the current licence program to visit Cuba.
While it’s not technically illegal for US citizens to travel to Cuba, most are prohibited from spending any money there. These new measures would allow visitors to be able to purchase “$US400 of general goods and up to $US100 of alcohol and tobacco products that can include cigars” while in Cuba.
We’re still waiting for more information on the ease of these travel restrictions, but it’s clear that more Americans will be travelling to Cuba very soon.
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