Latest Travel Update on Covid-19 in Costa Rica

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July 2, 2020
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Recently the number of Covid-19 cases in Costa Rica has increased to 16,800 (updated on July 29th). However, the country still has plans to allow tourists in on August 1st. Here is the list of countries they are accepting visitors:

Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. This list of authorized countries will be reevaluated every two weeks. Currently there are no plans to allow citizens from the United States to visit. The government has clarified that travelers without a passport from one of these countries can enter Costa Rica through a flight from a permitted country under certain circumstances. Specifically, the travelers must quarantine in the permitted country for at least 14 days, without showing symptoms, before departing for Costa Rica. Upon arriving in Costa Rica the immigration official will ensure that the passenger did not only make a stopover in the permitted country.

For tourists, there are three requirements:

  1. Travel insurance that covers medical expenses of, at minimum, $20,000 and housing costs of at least $4,000. This insurance must cover medical expenses associated with COVID-19 and must be purchased from an insurer in Costa Rica.
  2. A negative coronavirus test. The sample for the test must be taken 48 hours (maximum) before the passenger departs for Costa Rica.
  3. Complete the digital epidemiological form called “Pase de Salud.” (salud.go.cr)

Note that tourists must submit their insurance policy number and upload the result of their negative coronavirus test (as a PDF or JPG) 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.

At the moment, the only accepted insurance is offered by the National Insurance Institute (INS). If a tourist has travel insurance from your origin country, they will still need to purchase the INS plan.

The INS plan varies in cost based on the age of the tourist and their length-of-stay in the country. Click here to purchase the INS travel insurance plan. * When I tried to purchase insurance for a trip from October 1st to the 8th, for a 48 year old, I got a quote of $543.66. Here is a breakdown of the costs for a week. (Two months cost $797.64)

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 $20,000 in medical expense coverage and $4,000 in lodging coverage. You can get a quote for US Citizens through our partners at Travel Insured here. Questions about how they will cover Covid-19 related expenses are explained here. If you are from outside of the United States, find a quote from our partner World Nomads. However, they do NOT cover expenses related to the Covid-19 pandemic as explained in their FAQs.

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). “Daily vehicle restrictions based on license plate numbers remain in effect. In yellow alert zones, driving is permitted Monday through Friday from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m on weekends. Most of the Greater Metropolitan Area (GMA) to include San Jose remains under an Orange Alert.  In areas under an Orange Alert, daytime driving is allowed from 5:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Sunday.” Public transportation has resumed normal operations nationwide. Food delivery services are allowed to operate as well. 

Costa Rica also will keep the beaches open from 5 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily starting August 1st. Tours that take place outdoors will be permitted in social bubbles. Examples include hiking, zip lining, rafting, surf lessons, and horseback tours.

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