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by Ron Pradinuk, Takeoffeh.com on Monday, May 10, 2010

That is the question.

On February 16th, the Cuban government announced that as of May 1 all tourists – including Canadians – would require medical coverage to be allowed into the country. Travellers who did not comply would have to buy insurance from local Cuban companies available at the airport, port or marina in order to enter Cuba.

Understandably, with 1.5 million Canadians visiting Cuba every year, the news of enforced health coverage had private insurance providers here in Canada chomping at the bit. Press releases and flyers were churning and everyone assumed supplemental health insurance was required.

Then came the clarification that, in fact, provincial health insurance cards are proof enough for the Cubans — which launched a confusing barrage of news reports. For the record, although the Cuban tourist board has not updated their Canadian website to indicate this important point of difference, they have confirmed to Take Off eh that Canadians with provincial health cards are permitted entry into the country. And although the rule was in force as of May 1, local Cuban airport officers have apparently not yet begun asking for the document.

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