While in other parts of the world the coronavirus pandemic has infected millions and killed hundreds of thousands, Costa Rica government approach to the crisis may be paying off. Several renowned magazines have highlighted Costa Rica as a destination to consider once the Coronavirus crisis is over.
Since May 1st, the country started to reopen its economy and lifting some COVID-19 restrictions as the number of active infections declined for more than 11 consecutive days. This decision will be reevaluated every 15 days to decide what other restrictions could be ease.
Costa Rican’s President, Carlos Alvarado, announced the reopening of movie theaters, gyms, and hair salons. These businesses operate under reduced hours and have a limited number of clients allowed at a time.
Beaches and national parks are among the many attractions that will remain closed for now. President Alvarado said authorities will “keep monitoring” the progression of the coronavirus pandemic and will announce new changes on May 11.
DECREASE OF ACTIVE CASES
Since its first reported case on March 6th, 2020, Costa Rica, a country of 5 million people, has 713 confirmed cases, 323 recovered, and 6 deaths as of April 30th, 2020. See daily statistics. About half of the coronavirus cases are in the province of San José.
The country has also seeing a steady fall in the number of people currently infected. A total of 13,117 tests have been done, and as of today the country can conduct up to 2,500 tests each day. From Sunday April 27th to Monday April 28th, Costa Rica registered two new infections.
Because Costa Rica has recorded nearly two weeks of decreasing active coronavirus cases, the country may be on the back end of the first wave of the pandemic, according to Health Minister Daniel Salas.
“We’ve had success until now,” Salas said, noting Costa Rica’s success is atypical compared to that of many other countries.
According to health experts, one of the main reasons why the country has succeeded in limiting the spread of COVID-19 is its population.
The responsibility of all the citizens that boasts being one of the happiest in the world, played an important role for the fights against this invisible enemy.
Costa Rica declared a State of Emergency on March 16 and ordered to shut down its borders via land, air or sea, as well as a mandatory quarantine.
“The people have understood the historic moment that we’re in. We’re entering a new stage and we have to be very carefully because most people haven’t been infected “, said the Health Minister.
Costa Rica, who has a free public health system, set up a COVID-19 Hotline to provide telephone screening. If someone experiences symptoms or has been exposed to the novel coronavirus, the protocol is to call 1322. English-speaking operators are also available.
BEST TRAVEL DESTINATION
As of today, and due to the low number of cases and fatalities, Costa Rica is positioning as one of the safest countries in the world to visit after the crisis. Multiple renowned international media such as Lonely Planet, The Times, Condé Nast Traveler, Matador Network, Canadian Traveler, Profession Voyages, Forbes, among others, have highlighted Costa Rica as a destination to consider once the Coronavirus crisis is over.
María Amalia Revelo, Minister of Tourism of Costa Rica stated: ‘Costa Rica has earned a decades-long reputation in the world as a favorite tourist destination, and this reputation must be taken care of as we plan how to reactivate our tourism sector to get it out of this unprecedented crisis’.
Costa Rica is the world leader in nature tourism and the second in adventure tourism, according to the World Economic Forum.
WHEN COSTA RICA WILL RE-OPEN ITS BORDERS FOR TOURISM?
The country began denying entry to tourists and non-resident foreigners on March and the government estimates that will continue to be enforced until June 15. As of May 18th, only Costa Rican citizens and residents can enter the country through June 15. Upon entering the country, Costa Rican citizens and residents will receive a health order and will have to stay in their homes for 14 days in compliance with preventive and compulsory isolation.
Several hotel owners and travel agencies in Costa Rica estimate that international travel will resume by September or October at the earliest. The travel industry is expecting to have a high demand by December during the beginning of the high season.
Guidelines for foreign entry will be announce by the government. It is expected that one of these procedures at the airport will be a rapid-onsite COVID-19 test.
Some of the major airline carriers have announced limited flights to the country in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Here is the latest information for flights to/from Juan Santamaría International Airport. Click Here
– Delta Airlines will resume operations from Los Angeles and Atlanta on June 19th
– United Airlines will resume operations from Houston on May 18th (repatriation flight only)
– American Airlines will resume operations from Miami and Dallas on July 7th
– Spirit Airlines will resume operations from Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale on July 5th
– Southwest has suspended flights to Costa Rica until October 30.
VACATION PLANNING FOR 2021?
Travelers nowadays are seeking for flexible travel policies in the occurrence of a possible second wave of COVID-19. They do not want to be penalize for a possible cancelation and at the same time want to take advantage of the lowest rates airlines and hotels are offering.
Even though the amount of tourism for 2020 is uncertain, the travel industry is optimistic for travel to resume on 2021 or even before during the holidays.
Costa Rica Dream Adventures (CRDA) understands that for travelers, it is no longer easy to decide on their next vacation, but today anticipating a dream trip could be highly beneficial. A 3 to 5-hour flight from the U.S. can take anxious vacationers to paradise and to reconnect with nature, after months of uncertainty and stress.
The U.S. based Tour Operator that sells exclusively Costa Rica custom vacations, is offering NO CHANGE FEES on all their travel packages. Travelers can change their travel dates up to 30 days before departure.
Payment plans have also changed. Clients will have the option of submitting a deposit and pay final balance due 35 days before departure. Monthly installment payment plans are also available.
All Costa Rica Dream Adventures Vacation Packages are fully customizable and 2021 rates are now available for future travel plans. CRDA has a second office in San Jose, Costa Rica that offers 24/7 in country travel assistance. Travelers can feel safe to know there will be always someone to reach out for assistance.
Without a doubt, Costa Rica is a great destination to visit after the crisis. Find balance, reconnect with nature, relax on the beach, Costa Rica will welcome you with open arms and the warmth and kindness of our people.
NEW COVID-19 REGULATIONS
The Costa Rican Government will be implementing new guidelines and test in order to keep its low number of cases. As these guidelines are given, we will be updating and communicating that to our all travelers.