6 Things To Know Before Visiting Costa Rica During The Pandemic
Costa Rica announced the reopening of its border to all U.S. residents starting on November 1st.
The country began the first phase of its reopening on August 1st after almost 5 months of closure due to the pandemic. Since that day, Costa Rica opened its airports, the Juan SantamarÌa International Airport (SJO), and Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR), to foreign visitors.
The country established new entry requirements that included proof of negative PCR COVID test within 72 hours prior to arrival, and travel insurance that covers medical and lodging expenses related to COVID.
Starting October 26th, the Costa Rica government announced that visitors will no longer need a negative COVID-19 test proof for entering the country. Visitors will still need to purchase health travel insurance and complete the Health Pass epidemiological form.
In 2019, Costa Rica welcomed 3.1 million foreign visitors. More than 1.3 million tourists came from the United States, nearly 235,000 from Canada, and more than 500,000 people arrived from Europe.
If you are considering visiting Costa Rica, here are some mportant things to know before planning your vacation.
What countries are allowed to enter?
As of November 1: Costa Rica re-enables its air border to all countries in the world as long as they meet the requirements established in the framework of the pandemic.
As of Sept. 1, private flights from the United States will also be allowed to enter Costa Rica.
Passengers and crew members of yachts and sailboats must meet the same entry requirements as those issued to passengers entering by air on August 1.
1. Complete digital epidemiological form “Health Pass.”
2. Travel insurance – international or purchased through the Costa Rica National Insurance Institute- that covers medical care, or an unexpected extended hotel stay due to COVID-19. This policy can be international or purchased from Costa Rican insurers.
3. Travelers opting for foreign travel insurance must demonstrate pdf proof in English or Spanish; coverage for medical expenses for at least $50,000 and a minimum of $2,000 for extended stay expenses.
4. Face masks in all indoor circumstances are mandatory. The only exceptions are at restaurants and all open-air tourism activities.
What is open?
Tourist attractions are operating normally. This includes all open-air activities.
Starting October 15th, beaches open daily from 5 am to 10 pm on weeknights; from 5 am to 8 pm on weekends. Most national parks are open.
Hotels can operate at 100% capacity. Restaurants can operate at up to 50% capacity.
Essential services like supermarkets, pharmacies, health clinics, are operating normally
Bars can operate at up to 50% capacity. Dancing is not allowed. There are acrylic barriers at the bar.
Casinos can operate at up to 50% capacity. Precautions include temperature screenings; constant sanitation of machines and chips; alcoholic beverages not permitted.
What is closed?
Nightclubs, amusement parks, skate parks, jumping parks, inflatables, and similar are all closed.
Mass-gathering events in general like concerts, public shows, fairgrounds, sports activities with public, popular celebrations, and organization of conventions and commercial exhibitions are prohibited at this time, as are religious activities such as processions.
There are restrictions travelers should be aware of, including some driving restrictions. Travelers are exempt if driving a rental car to/from the airport, or to/from a hotel.
Most businesses will close at 10 p.m. on weekdays and 8 p.m. on weekends.
It is mandatory to wear masks inside any public establishment. Exceptions: restaurants, hotel rooms, infants, and people with certain disabilities.
Some establishments may require guests to wash their hands and/or get their temperature checked.
People are expected to maintain physical distancing of 6 feet or greater.
What happens if I get COVID-19 symptoms while in Costa Rica?
Dial 1322. English-speaking operators are available. If you test positive, there is mandatory 14-day quarantine stay at your hotel room. If vacationing with Costa Rica Dream Adventures (www.costaricadreamadventures.com), travelers can call their 24/7 in-country travel support for assistance. www.visitcostarica.com