The Obama administration has significantly eased travel
restrictions to Cuba for individuals, allowing them to
make "individual people-to-people educational” trips to the island,
without having to travel with an authorized group. The change takes effect March 16.
Americans had been able to visit Cuba as
part of people-to-people educational tour groups, accompanied by a
representative of those groups, but not on their own.
The change allows for an individual to travel alone under
people-to-people educational travel guidelines, provided that the traveler
“engages in a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities intended to
enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or
promote the Cuban people’s independence from Cuban authorities and that will
result in a meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in
A joint statement from the Treasury and Commerce departments
said that the change was intended to make educational travel to Cuba more
accessible and less expensive for U.S. citizens, and to increase opportunities
for direct engagement between Cubans and Americans.
The statement also said that persons traveling under the new
guidelines must retain records related to the authorized travel transactions,
including records demonstrating a full-time schedule of authorized activities.