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Costa Rica Reopening

Costa Rica reopening its borders to all travelers for the first time since March 2020. This announcement was made by the Minister of Tourism, Gustavo Seguro on Thursday, October 22, 2020. Originally the borders of Costa Rica were to reopen on November 1st. In addition to removing all countries from the banned entry list, Costa Rica has removed the mandatory COVID19 test prior to entry.

A negative COVID19 test is no longer needed within 72 hours of arriving to Costa Rica.

Previously all tourists, visitors needed to have a COVID test to enter Costa Rica. Even Costa Rica residents who were returning to Costa Rica needed a test, or face a 14-day mandatory quarantine. With the announcement on October 22, this is no longer necessary.

Why did they eliminate the requirement?

There are several important reasons why Costa Rica removed the negative COVID19 test.

Firstly, they were hard to get for most visitors. Most people must take at least one connection flight to get to Costa Rica. In order to have a valid test, visitors had to get to a testing facility in their home country AND receive the results. Then, they had to start their trip and make sure they were at immigration within 72 hours of the test being given. This was nearly impossible for most people.

Secondly, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated on October 9, 2020, that a COVID test is unnecessary for international travel.

Lastly, Costa Rica needs tourists to jumpstart its economy. Unemployment is at an all-time high (~23%) and there is a high rate of under-employment also. Over 10% of the country’s GDP is generated via tourism. Over the past couple of years over three million tourists have visited Costa Rica (which is significant when one considers Costa Rica’s population is around 5.5 million).

Costa Rica Entry Requirements

Visitors and travelers must continue to have the following items:

  • Proof of health insurance to cover the cost of a hospital stay due to COVID. An international policy or one purchased in Costa Rica through the National Insurance Institute (INS) https://www.grupoins.com/seguroparaviajeros, or Sagicor https://tiendasagicor.com/en. These policies are pre-approved and guaranteed to be accepted.

    For tourists who would prefer to use a different form of international insurance, they must request a certificate from their insurance company. The certificate can be written in either Spanish or English (but no other languages) and the certificate MUST prove three things:
  1. Effectiveness in Costa Rica during the traveler’s time in Costa Rica.
  2. Guaranteed coverage of medical expenses in the event of becoming ill with COVID-19 while in Costa Rica for at least US$50,000
  3. Has a $2,000 lodging expense clause as a result of the pandemic.

Passengers who fail to comply with those three requirements, and refuse the insurance offered by INS or Sagicor, may not enter the country.

  • Proof of departure within 90 days (if from USA or Canada)
  • Proof of where they will be staying during their time in Costa Rica. TIP: Know the name, phone number and address of the hotel or vacation home rental you will be using. Have that information typed up on a separate piece of paper and be ready to give it to the immigration official. This could speed up the process for entry.
  • Fill out a Costa Rica health pass. This can be done here: https://salud.go.cr/ Once it is completed you will receive a QR code. If done a cell phone, screen capture it for easy finding in your photos.

Feel free to contact Osa Property Management if you have any questions about visiting Costa Rica.