Latest Travel Update on Covid-19 in Costa Rica

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UPDATED May 23rd, 2021

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

U.S. CITIZENS ARE REQUIRED TO SHOW A NEGATIVE COVID-19 TEST RESULT WHEN THEY RETURN. “If you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get tested no more than 3 days before you travel by air into the United States (US) and show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight, or be prepared to show documentation of recovery (proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).”

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.

Covid Cases in Costa Rica on April 1st, 2021 – source: Google

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 INS plan varies in cost based on the age of the tourist and their length-of-stay in the country. Here is a breakdown of the costs for a week. (Two months cost $797.64) * These prices have dropped due to criticism by the tourism office.

Costa Rica travel insurance
26a – Accidental Death, 26b – Total or partially incapacitated, 26e – Return of remains to host country, 26f – Medical Expenses, 26i – Food and Lodging costs, 998 – taxes

If Costa Rica allows travelers to purchase their own policies, just be sure it has $50,000 in medical expense coverage and $2,000 in lodging coverage. You can get a quote for US Citizens through our partners at Travel Guard here. Your must purchase the ‘lodging expense bundle’ which adds about $16 to your total.

DRIVING IN COSTA RICA

There will continue to be driving restrictions during the week and weekend, but rental vehicles are exempt from these rules. Here are the exact guidelines of driving a vehicle in Costa Rica (if you own it).

A slightly stricter vehicular nighttime restriction applies from January 4-31 as follows:

  • Monday to Friday: The nighttime vehicular restriction will remain from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m.
  • Saturdays and Sundays: The nighttime vehicular restriction will be from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. In addition:
    • Saturdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 cannot drive.
    • Sundays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 cannot drive.

The usual daytime driving restrictions apply:

  • Mondays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 1 or 2 cannot drive.
  • Tuesdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 3 or 4 cannot drive.
  • Wednesdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 5 or 6 cannot drive.
  • Thursdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 7 or 8 cannot drive.
  • Fridays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 9 or 0 cannot drive.

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 2:30 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.

From January 4-17, there will be stricter measures for some activities:

  • Beaches will be open only from 5 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
  • Bars and casinos must limit capacity to 25%.
  • National Parks must limit capacity to 50%.

Commercial establishments throughout the country can remain open during the week from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., and on weekends from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.

You can read the latest information from the US Embassy in Costa Rica here.

Costa Rica Travel Insurance for Covid-19

2 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?

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