New Cuba travel restrictions announced

Local News

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The Trump Administration has announced new travel restrictions on Cuba, including banning cruise ships from stopping in the country. 

The new restrictions, released by the U.S. Treasury Department, will also prevent many group people-to-people trips from visiting Cuba, although trips authorized before June 5 may still be allowed if a flight or accommodation was already reserved. 

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement, “this Administration has made a strategic decision to reverse the loosening of sanctions and other restrictions on the Cuban regime. These actions will help to keep U.S. dollars out of the hands of Cuban military, intelligence, and security services.”

According to the Associated Press, cruise travel brought 142,721 people to the island in the first four months of 2019. Cruise travel from the U.S. to Cuba began in May 2016 under the Obama Administration.

Brad Martin with Anywhere Anytime Journeys described Cuba as a hot destination. 

“Part of it is that it’s a country we weren’t able to go to for so long,” Martin said. “The other part is it’s a country stopped in time.” 

Martin told WCIA a couple had booked a honeymoon through his agency that was set to depart for Cuba on June 5. Tuesday night, the couple learned its cruise would now set sail for Mexico instead. Martin said Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas would give the couple 50-percent of the fare back. 

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