State Dept Travel Advisory - Level 2
Article by
Dani Reiter
Updated
November 23rd, 2019

Avoid These Hotels in Cuba, Says the US State Department

US State Department updates Level 2 Travel Advisory for Cuba

cuba city scene

The US Department of State published an update to its Level 2 Travel Advisory for the Republic of Cuba.

On November 21, 2019, the ‘Exercise Increased Caution’ notice is related to ‘debilitating injuries incurred by the US diplomatic community while visiting Cuba’

This updated Advisory says ‘numerous U.S. Embassy Havana employees have exhibited a range of physical symptoms including ear complaints and hearing loss, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, cognitive issues, visual problems, and difficulty sleeping.’

These symptoms occurred in U.S. diplomatic residences at the Atlantic, the Hotel Nacional, and Hotel Capri, which are located in Havana, Cuba.

Additionally, the US State Department says ‘if you decide to travel to Cuba, consider the following suggestions, which are:

  • Avoid the Hotel Nacional and Hotel Capri.
  • If you experience any acute auditory or sensory phenomena, immediately move to another area. 
  • Know where to seek medical care in Cuba.
  • Consult with a medical professional prior to traveling if you have personal health concerns or upon return, if you believe you have suffered symptoms similar to those listed above.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations.
  • The current embassy is located at Calzada between L & M Streets, Vedado, Havana, Cuba. The local phone: (53)(7) 839-4100.

The United States established diplomatic relations with the Republic of Cuba in 1902, opening the first U.S. Embassy in Havana in 1923. 

On November 15, 2019, the U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo announced an update to the ‘Cuba Restricted List’ by adding 5 sub-entities owned by the Cuban military to the list of entities with which direct financial transactions are generally prohibited. 

‘The United States remains committed to ensuring U.S. funds do not directly support Cuba’s state security apparatus,’ concluded Secretary Pompeo.

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The Republic of Cuba has a population exceeding 11 million residents and comprises the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean meet.

According to the Cuba Trade organization, Cuba expects to welcome over 5 million tourists in 2019, with about 1 million Canadians visiting this beautiful Caribbean island.

From a health perspective, the UK health authorities have classified Cuba as having a risk of dengue and Zika virus transmission. For more advice about these risks, visit the UK’s website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

Previously, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its Travel Advice when visiting Cuba on June 18, 2019. 

The CDC encourages future visitors to Cuba to ensure their Routine Vaccinations, including the measles virus, are up to date.

Recent travel vaccine news regarding Cuba was published, such as the following:

Cuba vaccine news is published by Vax-Before-Travel.