Latest Travel Update on Covid-19 in Costa Rica

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UPDATED August 31st, 2021

ALL U.S. STATES AND ALL COUNTRIES ARE ALLOWED ENTRY TO COSTA RICA.

Here is the latest post from the US Embassy in San Jose:

COVID 19 In Costa Rica:

Costa Rica has confirmed 461,145 cases of COVID-19 as of August 31, 2021.  1,154 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, 447 of them in intensive care.  Costa Rica has reported 5,492 COVID-19-related deaths since March 2, 2020. 

Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative Covid-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of flight departure from Costa Rica.  Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel.  Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.

Persons receiving a positive COVID-19 test may receive a mandatory quarantine order for 10-14 days, depending on the severity of the infection.  Persons who receive a negative COVID-19 test who have been traveling with other persons who test positive may also receive a mandatory quarantine order for 10-14 days due to exposure risk.  The Ministry of Health has sole discretion in issuing quarantine orders and the U.S. Embassy is not able to intervene.  Failure to comply with a mandatory quarantine order can result in fines or other legal penalties.     

Both PCR and Antigen tests are available in Costa Rica.  Most results are available within 24 hours.  Testing is available at medical facilities across Costa Rica.  Please note, the Embassy has received reports of unlicensed businesses offering COVID-19 tests.  Passengers presenting tests from unlicensed locations or falsified test results could be denied boarding, required to pay fines, or face other legal penalties, and be required to retest prior to departing Costa Rica.Follow this link for a complete list of properly licensed testing locations throughout Costa Rica.  

Entry Requirements:

Minors under 18 years of age and adult tourists fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are no longer required to show proof of travel insurance.  In the case of visitors from the United States, the “COVID-19 vaccination record card” will be accepted.

Foreigners will be able to enter the country if they carry a vaccination certificate or card that contains at least the following information:

·         Name of the person who received the vaccine

·         Date of each dose

·         Pharmaceutical company

Unvaccinated adult visitors traveling to Costa Rica will continue to need to provide proof of a medical insurance policy to cover any COVID-19 related medical treatment or quarantine lodging while in Costa Rica.  In the case of international insurance, tourists must request from their insurer a certification issued in English or Spanish, noting: 1) the validity of the policy during the dates of visit to Costa Rica, 2) guarantee of coverage for medicals expenses in cases of COVID-19 related medical treatment in the amount of 50,000 USD and, 3) minimum coverage of 2,000 USD for extended lodging expenses due to COVID-19 related illness.  It is also possible to purchase a Costa Rican medical insurance policy through the National Insurance Institute (INS) or Sagicor of Costa Rica, covering the duration of your stay in Costa Rica.  Please send an email to seguros@ict.go.cr for questions about insurance coverage or to verify your current insurance policy will be accepted in Costa Rica.  

All visitors, regardless of vaccination status, must also complete an online Health Pass (pasa de Salud) 48 hours prior to travel to Costa Rica.  The Health Pass can be found at https://salud.go.cr.

Nationwide Restrictions:

At least through September 30, most businesses can operate (with some capacity restrictions) from 5am until 9pm.  National Parks will be open from 5am to 6pm and may operate at 100% capacity.  Beaches will be open from 5am to 8pm.  Until at least September 30, a weekday daytime vehicle restriction based on license plate numbers will be enforced nationwide between the hours of 5:00am and 10:00pm.  For an unofficial English translation of this announcement, follow this link.  Taxis, tourists with proof of hotel and flight reservations, and emergency vehicles are still allowed to circulate at all times.

The weekday nighttime driving restriction from 10pm until 5am will continue through September 30.

From September 1 – September 30, the weekday daytime restrictions will be as follows:

·         Mondays: Vehicles with plates ending in 1 and 2 cannot circulate.

·         Tuesdays: Vehicles with plates ending in 3 and 4 cannot circulate.

·         Wednesdays: Vehicles with plates ending in 5 and 6 cannot circulate.

·         Thursdays: Vehicles with plates ending in 7 and 8 cannot circulate.

·         Fridays: Vehicles with plates ending in 9 and 0 cannot circulate.

·         Weekend (Saturday/Sunday) daytime driving restrictions will cease as of September 4.

·         Weekend nighttime driving restrictions from 10pm to 5am will remain in force until at least September 30.

Read more on the requirements from the CDC here – LINK.

Rapid Antigen tests are now being offered at Liberia AND San Jose airports. Travelers are advised to make reservations for the test well in advance and schedule the appointment 4 hours before your departing flight. Read more here – LINK. You can schedule a test using this link from Echandi Labs.

Here is the link to the Costa Rica Tourism Office’s PDF for tourists returning to the United States – LINK. Here is their list of locations of clinics and hospitals that offer Covid-19 testing in Costa Rica – LINK. Be sure to arrive three days before your departure to get your test and results will be emailed to you.

Hospital Clinica Biblica and Laboratorios Echandi are also offering Rapid Antigen Tests (for ~$50), and they have offices all over San Jose, but none along the coasts. There are now dozens of clinics offering the antigen along the Pacific coast for ~$60.

Map of Costa Rica Clinics and Hospitals that offer Covid-19 tests

Recently the number of Covid-19 cases in Costa Rica has increased to 299,000 with 229,000 recovered (updated on May 23rd). This list will be updated every two weeks so check back to this page soon.

For tourists to enter the country, there are TWO requirements:

Travel insurance that covers medical expenses at a minimum of $50,000 and lodging costs of at least $2,000. This insurance must cover medical expenses associated with COVID-19 and may be purchased through Costa Rica’s national insurance program or through a private provider as long as it includes this coverage.

You can get a quote for United States Citizens through our partners at Travel Guard HERE. Be sure to add the lodging expense bundle option just for Costa Rica travelers. Click here to purchase the INS travel insurance plan offered by the Costa Rica government. There is also a private company in Costa Rica called Sagicor offering insurance.

Complete the digital epidemiological form called “Pase de Salud.” (salud.go.cr) Here you can upload your driver’s license and proof of insurance. You complete this between 12-48 hours before your flight. Note that tourists must submit their insurance policy number as part of the epidemiological form.

Costa Ricans and residents only need to complete the “Pase de Salud” online form. They do not need to purchase insurance or show proof of a negative coronavirus test; however, a 14-day home isolation order will be enforced. They will also undergo a medical check at the airport.

The typical list of exceptions, which includes rental vehicles, still applies, and public transportation can operate normally. The full list of exceptions can be found here.

Costa Rica also will keep the beaches open from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily for the month of January. Tours that take place outdoors will be permitted in social bubbles. Examples include hiking, zip lining, rafting, surf lessons, and horseback tours.

Costa Rica Travel Insurance for Covid-19

4 Comments

  1. Edward Legare says:

    I had Covid 19 in August. I am totally well now. I am not contagious. I have had negative antigen test. However epidymoligist say I may be positive for a PCR test for months. I won’t even know until I am about to load on my plane. Is there any other way to be able to enter the country?

  2. Ray Eldon says:

    BEWARE TRAVEL INSURANCE RIP OFF
    WORLD TRIPS
    ATLAS
    Did a trip to CR in May purchased Travel insurance because it was mandatory to enter CR.
    I had heart attack in Hermosa ended up in San Jose Clinica Biblica $18,000 bill. Submitted to INSURANCE.
    The INSURANCE denied my claim. They aren’t a USA company they are out of the UK. I tried fighting it but Florida INSURANCE commission said since the are a foreign country they had no recourse.
    THEY REALLY SCREWED ME.
    BEWARE OF THIS WHEN PURCHASING TRAVEL INSURANCE. USA COMPANIES ONLY

    • Greg Gordon says:

      Hi Ray, I am so sorry to hear that happened to you. The insurance through US based Travel Guard would have covered you. Next time, please let me know if I can help. I would even be able to assist you in filing a claim if you need it.

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