6 Things To Know Before Visiting Costa Rica During The Pandemic

What to expect from your visit during the pandemic?

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.

Effective December 15th through Jan 7, 2022, the country announced that all commercial establishments can voluntarily require visitors to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination to operate at full capacity. Commercial establishments that choose not to require the QR code must operate under limited capacity at 50% and practice physical distancing measures and handwashing. Minors will not be required to present proof of vaccination.

Visitors will be still required to complete the electronic Health Pass 72 hours before arriving in Costa Rica.

This is a “transitional period”, that allows businesses to choose if they require vaccination proof, is valid until January 7th,2022. However, starting January 8th, 2022, hotels and public places will require proof of vaccination to all visitors, including international tourists. Minors that are 18 years old or under are exempt from this requirement until February 1st, 2022. Tourists will use the QR code provided when completing the health pass form for entry or show a physical vaccine card issued abroad to demonstrate their full vaccination status.

Since its first reported case on March 6th, 2020, Costa Rica, a country of 5 million people, has had 569,000 confirmed cases, and 7,343 deaths as of December 22nd, 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 
• For travel insurance pricing Click 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.
• As of August 1, 2021, all tourists under 18 years of age can enter the country without a travel policy. All tourists who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and inoculated with Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, or Johnson & Johnson can enter the country without a travel policy. Vaccinated tourists must attach the vaccination certificate to the Health Pass.
• Face masks in all indoor circumstances are mandatory. The only exceptions are at restaurants and all open-air tourism activities.

New Costa Rica Dream Adventures Vacation Protocols 

3. Vaccination Proof requirements : 
• Acceptable vaccines: Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, or Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)Sinovac, Sinopharm, and Covaxin.
• Fully vaccinated with two doses, except for the Janssen that is one dose.
• The last dose must have been administered at least 14 days before entering Costa Rica.
• The schemes adopted by international health authorities that combine vaccines from different pharmaceutical companies will be considered a complete vaccination scheme
• Cases in which the traveler receives a single dose after having been diagnosed with the SARS-CoV-2 virus will be considered fully vaccinated
• Proof must be demonstrated with a document that includes the person’s full name, date of each dose, formula, and lot number.
• For U.S. visitors Covid-19 vaccination record card will be required as proof
• Tourists who have a medical condition, duly accredited, that make it impossible to apply any vaccine are except, however, travel medical insurance will still be required
• Minors that are 17 years old or under will not be required to present proof of vaccination (until February 1st, 2022)
• All visitors must complete the digital epidemiological form “Health Pass”
• Tourists who have a medical condition, duly accredited, that make it impossible to apply any vaccine approved by the Ministry of Health of Costa Rica
• Travel insurance will continue to be required for unvaccinated adults that are planning to visit Costa Rica.

4. Can unvaccinated tourists enter the country?

Yes. Tourists who are not fully vaccinated, or who have vaccines that have not been endorsed by WHO or a strict regulatory agency, will be able to enter the country. If they are over 18 years of age, they must complete the Health Pass and purchase a travel policy valid for at least five days that covers accommodations and medical expenses in the event of COVID-19.
Starting January 8th, commercial establishments will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter. Essential services such as supermarkets, pharmacies, grocery stores, and hospitals are exempt from this requirement.

5. Can tourists who have recovered from COVID-19 enter Costa Rica?
Each country has its own mechanism to verify vaccination status. This evidence must be presented by foreigners via the Health Pass.
This includes recovered travelers whose health authority has applied a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine. This must be reflected in their vaccination document as a 1/1 dose (dose one of one). All vaccines approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization or a Strict Regulatory Agency will be accepted.

6. Where to get the COVID test in Costa Rica

If you plan to travel internationally, all travelers (including US citizens and transit passengers) must present a negative COVID-19 viral test no more than 1 day before you travel by air into the United States. A negative test must be shown to the airlines before boarding your flight. 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 and Antigen COVID test for a fee. The majority guarantee results within hours. Costs are similar to the United States and range from $65-$100 depending on the type of test needed and the service offer.
Travel insurance typically does not cover the test, as they are considered elective for people who are asymptomatic and have not had close contact.

When you travel with Costa Rica Dream Adventures, you do not travel alone. We assist our clients in providing ahead of time all the information needed on when and where to get tested to avoid any type of stress during their vacation.

Read the full article here Where to get the COVID test in Costa Rica?


Since its first reported case on March 6th, 2020, Costa Rica, a country of 5 million people, has had 569,000 confirmed cases, and there have been 7,343 deaths as of December 22nd, 2021. See daily statistics.


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