Latest Travel Update on Covid-19 in Costa Rica

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UPDATED February 10, 2022

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:

COVID-19 Testing:

  • ArPCR tests available for U.S. citizens in Costa Rica? Yes
  • If so, are test results reliably available within 24 hours? Yes
    • Results for COVID 19 tests conducted in San Jose and the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) are generally available within 24. Tests conducted outside of the GAM, including in remote and costal locations, may take longer to process.  It is important to ask the testing facility for the expected date of results when scheduling an appointment.
  • Testing is available at medical facilities across Costa Rica.  Follow this link for a complete list of properly licenses testing locations.  (Please note, the Embassy has received reports of unlicensed businesses offering COVID-19 tests.  Passengers presenting tests from unlicensed locations could be denied boarding, required to pay a fine, and retest prior to departing Costa Rica)
  • Hospital Metropolitano, Clinica Biblica, Laboratorio Echandi and a growing number of private laboratories on the list of government approved labs are now offering Covid-19 antigen tests for travelers.  Proof of international travel is required.  The results of these tests are available within a few hours.  Customers must check with individual labs for testing availability, pricing, and length of time for a result.
  • Laboratorio Echandi is offering COVID-19 rapid antigen testing onsite at Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose and Daniel Obuder Quiros International Airport in Liberia (LIR). Passengers should plan to arrive at least four hours prior to their flights and must present airline tickets at the time of testing. Follow this link for additional information.
  • Costa Rica’s Ministry of Health does not currently accept the results of at home self-administered or proctor administered COVID-19 tests.
  • Test results are generally delivered via email.
  • Testing is paid for by the individual.
  • While most testing locations do not require a doctor’s referral, many do require an appointment.  Most locations accept appointments via telephone.
  • Please note the Ministry of Health will issue a 7–14-day sanitary quarantine order to any person receiving a positive COVID-19 test.  The Ministry of Health has stated this order cannot be appealed, even if subsequent test results taken during the 7–14-day mandatory quarantine are negative for COVID-19.
  • Please also note the recently revised CDC recommendation of a 5-day quarantine period is only applicable in the United States.  It does not apply in Costa Rica.
  • Costa Rica’s Ministry of Health recommends travelers consider testing needs when planning travel and make appointments for testing immediately upon arrival in Costa Rica.
  • Airlines will review COVID-19 test results for passengers either during the airline security question process or when they speak to an agent at the counter.  Passengers attempting to leave Costa Rica without valid proof of negative COVID-19 test results or documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel will not be allowed to board the plane.

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.

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

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 12-72 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 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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