Costa Rica is open to tourists from all countries without COVID-19 test or quarantine if they enter via air. Visitors from the U.S. are also welcomed to Costa Rica.
In order to be granted access to the country, arrivals must present medical insurance that covers COVID-19 and fill out the new Health Pass form.
The vaccination campaigns that have already started have prompted authorities to ease some restrictions.
Disclaimer: Travel restrictions and governmental regulations can change rapidly and the information below might be outdated within a few hours. Therefore, double-check all information with your embassy or on official websites. Traveling Lifestyle does not take any responsibility for your decision to travel.
Costa Rica Reopening – Latest Updates
May 4 – Costa Rica closes all non-essential business due to an unprecedented spike in COVID-19 cases
A few months ago, Costa Rica opened to travelers from all countries without testing or quarantine restrictions. This bold strategy to attract tourists has shown not to be the best idea for the economy recovery in the long run.
Last Friday, Health Minister Daniel Salas said the country had reached 2,781 new infections and 15 deaths in the prior 24-hour period. An unprecedented record surge since the pandemic began.
With ICUs at 94% capacity, the government announced strong sanctions to all non-essential businesses daring to open in central Costa Rica, including the capital. The date for this restriction to be lifted has not been announced yet.
April 21 – Costa Rica brings back 30% of their regular tourists
The last time Costa Rica saw this number of tourists was back in March 2020, when the pandemic has already hit most of the countries around the world.
With 89,263 international passengers over the last weeks, the country has brought back 30% of their pre-pandemic tourists.
62,370 visitors arrived from the United States, 2,706 from Mexico, 1,429 from Canada, 14,183 from Europe, 3,382 from Central America, 3,881 from South America and 284 from the Caribbean, according to data collected by the General Migration office (DGME).
“These are very encouraging numbers considering the world situation and the difficulties facing the recovery of the tourism sector; it is essential to adhere to health protocols to protect the reactivation of the tourism industry in the country,” said Gustavo Segura, Minister of Tourism.
So far, 300 Costa Rican companies have been granted “The “Safe Travels” seal which guarantees the destination has implemented strict sanitary measures.
April 2 – Costa Rica reopen land borders with restrictions
Effective April 5, the Costa Rica government will allow nationals and permanent resident permit holders to use land borders to enter the country. When crossing the land borders, travelers will receive a sanitary order requiring them to undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine at home.
Also, people crossing the Nicaragua border will need to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no longer than 72 hours prior to the border crossing.
Although Costa Rica has been open to tourists for months now, they are still far from reaching their pre-pandemic tourism numbers. They have introduced several measures to attract foreigners to their shores; lifting of testing requirements and quarantines, and extensions on tourist visas.
The next step for the country will be to offer digital nomad visas that come with a very attractive benefit package to foreigners interested in making Costa Rica their center of operations. The details are yet to be discussed and agreed on.
Costa Rica has reported that 75.113 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in their territory. They expect to receive additional 200,000-400,000 doses from their agreement with Covax while also negotiating a million doses with AstraZeneca.
This successful campaign has allowed authorities to lift some restrictions. For instance, the schedule for public beaches has been extended and they are now open from 5 am to 6 pm.
What are the current requirements to enter Costa Rica?
- Insurance that covers COVID-19 and quarantine lodging. (We recommend Safety Wing).
- Filling out the new Health Pass form.
Can Americans enter Costa Rica?
From November 1, all 50 U.S. states are allowed to enter Costa Rica.
COVID-19 situation in Costa Rica
As of May 4, Costa Rica has 256,676 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3,290 deaths caused by the new coronavirus.
Costa Rica reopens for European tourists
Travelers need to fill out a digital Online Health Pass available online and translated into several languages.
Furthermore, tourists must purchase insurance through the country’s national insurance company (INS). It needs to cover accommodations if a tourist is struck by coronavirus. Should this happen, the insurance will handle quarantine quarters and, if needed, hospitalization.
U.S. citizens who entered the country after December 19, 2019 were granted a stay extension until the middle of November.
Like other locations across the globe, Costa Rica has a face mask/shield policy. They are mandatory in all public spaces that aren’t private homes or restaurants. For the latter, staff is required to wear face coverings.
Costa Rica After COVID-19
Costa Rica hopes to be fully operational once COVID-19 numbers across the globe are small enough to completely reopen. Especially since the time between fall and spring is the prime travel season.
When it occurs, some restrictions may still be in place. For instance, wearing a mask and social distancing.
Also, because bars and nightclubs are hotbeds of coronavirus due to ventilation systems, they might remain closed or only accept a reduced capacity.
How To Plan a Trip to Costa Rica?
Preparation for a Costa Rica trip should not be delayed. Visitors may want to keep track of numbers and restrictions to determine the best places to visit in the country.
For instance, while flights come into the airport in San Jose, it might be better to avoid the city as it poses a higher epidemiologic risk and more restrictions. In fact, travelers might consider landing at the country’s other two international airports to completely avoid the city.
Review the country’s Ministry of Health website for current information on phased openings and focus attention on the yellow zones. This is generally the location for most of the country’s eco-friendly attractions. For instance, walking tours of the Monteverde Cloud Forest still occur but accept smaller groups.
Another location that will be a prime place to visit is the country’s beaches. Those in yellow zones are now open for most of the day, as are any other outdoor areas. This means visitors can enjoy the area as long as they follow Costa Rica’s rules.
The Costa Rican motto is Pura Vida — Pure life. Despite the frustrations encountered since the early spring, its citizens and tourist areas are ready to welcome tourists. Take advantage of this time to prepare a trip that encompasses the beauty and ecological wonders the country provides.
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