Costa Rica, a country that depends on tourism for a significant percentage of its economy, reopened its borders to a restricted list of U.S. tourists on September 1st.
Tourists are currently welcome from more than 40 countries, plus the following U.S. states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Wyoming, Washington, Vermont, and Virginia including the District of Columbia. (Washington D.C.)
Beginning October 15, U.S. citizens from Florida, Georgia, and Texas will be added to the list.
On November 1, U.S. citizen tourists from all 50 states and Washington D.C. may enter Costa Rica on flights departing from the United States.
The country has implemented various protocols in response to the global coronavirus crisis. Below we list key requirements you need to know as you plan your visit to Costa Rica.
Arriving passengers must comply with the following requirements:
- All people entering Costa Rica must complete the digital epidemiological form. The form is known as the “Health Pass” or “Pase de Salud.” Click here for a link to the form.
- Tourists must obtain a negative PCR coronavirus test. The sample for this test must have been taken at most, 72 hours before the flight to Costa Rica.
- Tourists must purchase travel insurance that covers accommodation in case of quarantine and medical expenses due to COVID-19. This policy can be international or purchased from Costa Rican insurers.
- Tourists from the United States must demonstrate, via their driver’s license or State ID, that they live in one of the authorized states.
- There are two Costa Rican companies sell pre-approved travel insurance plans: The National Insurance Institute (INS) and Sagicor. Tourists opting for a ‘Non-Costa Rican’ insurance policy must demonstrate proof (in English or Spanish) that their policy:
- Is valid throughout the planned visit to Costa Rica.
- Covers medical expenses in cases of COVID-19 in Costa Rica, for at least $50,000 (fifty thousand United States dollars).
- Includes a minimum coverage of $2,000 for expenses of extended lodging due to the pandemic.
Tourists who meet the requirements to enter Costa Rica do not need to quarantine/self-isolate.
IS EVERYTHING OPEN IN COSTA RICA?
- Hotels and other forms of accommodation can operate at 100% capacity.
- Restaurants can operate at up to 50% capacity.
- Most common tourist attractions are allowed to operate normally. This includes all outdoor activities, such as zip-lining hiking, snorkeling, hiking horseback riding, etc.
- The country’s beaches are open every day from 5 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
- Most national parks are open. Some national parks haven’t reopened all trails or attractions yet.
- All essential services, such as supermarkets, pharmacies, health clinics, etc. are operating normally.
- Restaurants, including those that serve alcohol are open, but bars and nightclubs remain closed.
- Casinos remain closed.
ADDITIONAL RESTRICTIONS DURING YOUR VACATION
- You must wear a mask when inside any public establishment. If you are not wearing a mask, you could be denied entry into an establishment. Exceptions include:
- While eating at a restaurant
- While in your own residence/hotel room.
- Infants and people with certain disabilities are also exempted.
- Some businesses have also instituted temperature checks (with an infrared thermometer) and/or require that guests wash their hands before entering.
- There are somewhat complex driving restrictions, including restricted hours. On weekdays driving is permitted 5 am – 10 pm; weekends 5 am – 8 pm. You are exempt from these restrictions if you are:
- driving a rental car
- driving to/from the airport
- driving to/from a hotel reservation
- It’s a good idea to have a copy of your airline itinerary, hotel reservation, etc. on you in the event traffic police stop you.
- Most businesses’ hours are tied to the country’s driving restrictions. This means businesses will close at 10 p.m. on weekdays and 8 p.m. on weekends.
- You will be expected to maintain social distancing (6 feet or greater) between your “social bubble” and others in line or nearby.
IF YOU NEED TO QUARANTINE
If you test positive for COVID-19 or are suspected of having the coronavirus, you will be issued a 14-day isolation order. During this time, you will be required to stay in your hotel room or bedroom alone. (There are exceptions for minors and the elderly, among others.) Costa Rican law interprets the implementation of a ’quarantine’ as follows:
The isolation of a person or group of people means their separation from all others, with the exception of the personnel in charge of their care.
In other words, you cannot have visitors during this period. You also are not allowed to leave Costa Rica until the sanitary order expires.
Dial 1322 if you believe you may have the coronavirus while you are in Costa Rica. English-speaking operators are available.
Additional information is available on the Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) website, which has an English-language version detailing the entry requirements. Click here to visit the site.
As you make plans for your vacation to Costa Rica, remember you’ll need airport transfers to and from your vacation resort. Look for safe, professional, reliable on-time transfers with Amstar. Choose from a variety of transportation options that best fits your travel needs. Click Here for Transfer options in Costa Rica.
So… Costa Rica is indeed open and ready to welcome you with open arms! And so is Amstar. Take a look at some of the most interesting excursions you can experience on a dream vacation to this beautiful country.
To explore more exciting excursions available in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, click here!
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