If you are shopping at your hotel, there is no worry about bag checks. But when you shop in the bigger Dollar stores in Havana such as La Epoca on Neptuno, you are forbidden to take any bag or backpack with you into the store.
Look for the line-up and the sign Guarda bolsos
Just hand over your bag but take your wallet and valuables with you. The clerk gives you a ticket with a number to reclaim your bag later. Some even ask for picture ID to place with your bag and then ask your name when you return for your belongings.
When you exit from one of these shops, if you have purchased any item you must show the receipt to the guard at the exit. He will look into your bag and make sure the receipt matches the contents.
Use cash and carry your own bags
It’s always a good idea to carry plastic zip-lock bags while walking the streets of Havana. You never know when a delectable goody such as meringues or guava pastries will appear, and Cubans have no way to bag them for you. At four cents each, you will want to fill a bag.
When shopping for groceries, the shops supply only the thinnest plastic carry-bag so once again, have a sturdy folding bag to make sure your bottle of rum makes it back to your hotel.
The Envirosax bag is light, strong and can be rolled up and carried in your pocket. Perfect for Havana shopping.