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If you are travelling to Cuba, you will require to buy health insurance if you want to enter the country, according to a new government measure,which takes effect in May, the insurance will be sold by foreign companies approved by the Cuban government or by Cuban firms at ports of entry to the communist-led island. The government said in the online edition of Cuba’s Official Gazette.
The measure decrees that tourists, foreigners with temporary residence in Cuba and Cubans living abroad who return to visit will have to be insured.
It exempts diplomats and representatives of accredited international organizations. The cost of the insurance was not disclosed.
Cuba prides itself on having a strong healthcare system, which is provided free to its citizens and at low costs to foreigners.
But the island has been hit hard by the global recession and is looking for new sources of revenue to boost its depleted financial reserves.
Tourism is one of Cuba’s main sources of income. In 2009, 2.42 million people visited the island.
Since 2001, entry visas to Schengen countries are governed by the rules of the Schengen Agreement. (The Schengen countries include most of Western Europe e.g., Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and some non-EU members such as Norway and Iceland). To enter these countries, one needs a valid “Schengen visas”. There are exceptions but that is the rule.
The European Council later decided that proof of medical insurance must be provided before issuing a Schengen visa. That rule went into effect on 1 June 2004.
Since that date, all visa applicants must show that they are in possession of individual or group travel insurance to cover medical expenses which might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical attention and/or emergency hospital treatment during their stay in the Schengen countries.
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