Despite the rest of the Caribbean being open to tourism from all countries right now, Cuba has always been a special case. Since last fall, they've slowly reopened from a strict lockdown, allowing international travelers back in October and finally opening Havana airport in November 2020.
Still, don't expect everything to be back to normal this year. According to the U.S. State Department, there is still a Level 4 Travel Advisory recommending U.S. citizens not travel to Cuba due to Covid-19 health and safety concerns. The capital city experienced a spike in cases in August, and the island nation is dealing with a shortage of basic medical supplies including most over-the-counter medications, thermometers, respiratory face masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment.
If you do plan to go, here's what you'll need. All incoming travelers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken less than 72 hours before arrival and fill out a health declaration card before being allowed entry in Cuba. Upon arrival, visitors will also be subject to a mandatory PCR test, and a mandatory period of self-isolation until they receive the result of the test.
And pre-Covid travel restrictions for U.S. citizens still apply: You'll need a reason to travel to Cuba that isn't just tourism (there are 12 eligible categories), a Cuban Tourist Card (a.k.a. visa) and you'll need to carry cash (American cards are generally not accepted), avoid spending money at some restricted businesses and to keep your travel receipts and records for five years. Cuba also requires travelers to have non-U.S. medical insurance (which is usually included in airline ticket prices on flights originating in the United States).
So, if you're headed to the Caribbean this summer, you might want to try Jamaica or the Dominican Republic instead. And don't forget that a negative viral COVID test or documentation of recovery is required for anyone traveling by air to the United States, including U.S. citizens and regardless of vaccination status.
Remember, many countries (including the USA) are still warning against all non-essential travel and some are quarantining all overseas arrivals, including their own returning citizens. Check all the relevant restrictions before you think about traveling.