The United States announced a loosening of rules that will make it easier for U.S. travelers to visit Cuba—but don't start making your grand Havana plans just yet. Following President Obama's December call for re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba after a 54-year halt, the U.S. Departments of Treasury and Commerce today announced new specific measures, which take effect Friday, to ease restrictions on travel to the island nation.
While the moves signal more leeway in travel and commerce between the two estranged countries, it's not exactly full-on tourism yet.
U.S. travelers will still have to fall into one of the 12 authorized categories—such as visiting family, conducting U.S. or foreign government business, pursuing journalistic or educational activities—but they will no longer have to obtain a specific license from the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control. They can self-report their travel purpose.
Since the new rules will also allow airlines and travel agents to circumvent an OFAC license to provide service to Cuba, U.S. travelers will be...more