Costa Rica announced the reopening of its border to all foreign visitors on November 1st, 2020.
In an effort to reactivate the country’s economy and maintain a controlled risk of infections due to COVID-19, Costa Rica established new entry requirements.
The country began the first phase of its reopening on August 1st, 2020 after almost 5 months of closure due to the pandemic. Since that day, Costa Rica has seen an increase in foreign tourists, according to data from the Tourism Board (ICT).
In November 2020, Costa Rica welcomed 36,044 people. The figure represented more than a threefold increase over October. Nearly 70% of the November visitors (24,606 people) came from the United States.
According to Health government authorities, no tourist has been hospitalized with Covid-19 since the reopening.
Since its first reported case on March 6th, 2020, Costa Rica, a country of 5 million people, has 176,000 confirmed cases; 135,000 people have recovered so far, and there have been 2,286 deaths as of January 8th, 2021. See daily statistics
If you are considering visiting Costa Rica, here are six important things to know before planning your vacation.
1. What countries are allowed to enter?
• As of November 1: Costa Rica re-enables its air border to all countries in the world as long as they meet the requirements established in the framework of the pandemic.
• As of Sept. 1, private flights from the United States will also be allowed to enter Costa Rica.
• Passengers and crew members of yachts and sailboats must meet the same entry requirements as those issued to passengers entering by air on August 1.
2. Entry Requirements
• Complete digital epidemiological form “Health Pass”
• Travel insurance – international or purchased through authorized Costa Rica insurer that covers medical care, or an unexpected extended hotel stay due to COVID-19.
More details on the type of coverage needed here
• Travelers opting for foreign travel insurance must demonstrate pdf proof in English or Spanish; coverage for medical expenses for at least $50,000 and a minimum of $2,000 for extended stay expenses. Protect Your Travel Experience
• Face masks in all indoor circumstances are mandatory. The only exceptions are at restaurants and all open-air tourism activities.
• Currently, Costa Rica is not planning to mandate proof of coronavirus vaccine as a requirement for entry.
3. What is open?
• Tourist attractions are operating normally. This includes all open-air activities.
• Starting October 15th, Beaches open daily from 5 am to 10 pm on weeknights; from 5 am to 8 pm on weekends.
• Most national parks are open
• Hotels can operate at 100% capacity
• Restaurants can operate at up to 50% capacity.
• Essential services like supermarkets, pharmacies, health clinics, are operating normally
• Bars can operate at up to 50% capacity. Dancing is not allowed. Acrylic barriers at the bar.
• Casinos can operate at up to 50% capacity. Temperature screening; constant sanitation of machines and chips; alcoholic beverages not permitted.
4. What is closed?
• Amusement Park
• Skate parks, jumping parks, inflatables, and similar
• Mass-gathering events in general like concerts, public shows, fairgrounds, sports activities with the public, popular celebrations, and organization of conventions and commercial exhibitions
• Religious activities such as processions
- What airlines are flying to and from Costa Rica? Click Here
5. The restrictions you should be aware of
• There are driving restrictions in place. Travelers are exempt if driving a rental car to/from the airport, or to/from a hotel.
• Most businesses will close at 10 p.m. on weekdays and 8 p.m. on weekends.
• Mandatory wear of masks inside any public establishment. Exceptions: restaurants, hotel rooms, infants, and people with certain disabilities.
• Some establishments may require guests to wash their hands and/or get their temperature check
• Expected to maintain physical distancing 6 feet or greater
6. Where to get the COVID test in Costa Rica
Starting on January 26th, United States is requiring all international travelers to show a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival in the country, regardless of vaccination status.
• PCR test must be taken within 72 hours of departure
• Proof of negative COVID test must be shown to the airline before boarding
• The requirement applies to all air passengers, 2 years of age or older, traveling into the US
Many private laboratories and hospitals in Costa Rica offer the PCR COVID test for a fee. The majority guarantee results within 48 hours.
Costs are similar to the United States and range from $100-$150 depending on the location where the travelers are located.
When you travel with Costa Rica Dream Adventures, you do not travel alone.
We assist our clients in making all the arrangements to get tested in the comfort of their hotel and guarantee the results within 48 hours. An appointment is required. Our representatives will assist you in collecting the information needed to schedule your appointment.
Information needed for COVID test appointment:
• Fill out the health ministry form before taking the test Click Here The form is in Spanish and Cost Rica Dream Adventures will be assisting you in filling out the form
• Full name, passport number, copy of the three first pages of your passport, date of birth, e-mail, and WhatsApp number
• The results will be emailed to you within 48 hours
• You can also make an appointment by calling or via WhatsApp or Facebook. It’s easier to find English speaking staff.
• The resorts are also offering the service of scheduling an appointment and do the test at the hotel.
Some of these hospitals and labs have locations in different cities. Some of these providers offer the option of performing the test at the hotel or vacation property travelers are staying at.
Please know that some locations also offering drive-through testing.
(San Jose/Liberia/Tamarindo/Conchal/Langosta/Portero/Quepos/Manuel Antonio)
Hospital La Católica (San Jose)
Cima Hospital (San Jose)
Hospital Clinica Biblica (San Jose)
Hospital San Rafael Arcangel (Liberia)
Labin Laboratories (San Jose)
Lab Echandi (San Jose/La Fortuna)
Unimed Urgent Care (La Fortuna)
Clinica Mision Medica – MMI (Jaco)
Paez Laboratoties (Liberia)
What happens if I get COVID positive while in Costa Rica?
• If you are experiencing symptoms, dial 1322. English-speaking operators are available.
• If vacationing with Costa Rica Dream Adventures, travelers can call our 24/7 in-country travel support for assistance.
• If you test positive, you will receive a health order from the Ministry of Health for mandatory 14-day quarantine stay at your hotel room or vacation home.
• Contact your travel insurance. Your COVID travel insurance will go into effect and cover you for any possible medical expenses and extended lodging expenses at your hotel or vacation home.
Since its first reported case on March 6th, 2020, Costa Rica, a country of 5 million people, has 186,000 confirmed cases; 142,000 people have recovered so far, and there have been 2,458 deaths as of January 19th, 2021.