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Last updated: 07/12/2021
- Essential services are open. Public transportation is operating at normal capacity. COVID-19 Testing:
- Are PCR tests available in Costa Rica? Yes
- If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours? Yes
- Results for COVID 19 tests conducted in San Jose and the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) are generally available within 24-48 hours. Tests conducted outside of the GAM, including in remote and costal locations, may take longer to process. It is important to ask the testing facility for the expected date of results when scheduling an appointment.
- Testing is available at medical facilities across Costa Rica. Follow this link for a complete list of properly licenses testing locations.
- Hospital Metropolitano, Clinica Biblica, Laboratorio Echandi and a growing number of private laboratories on the list of government approved labs are now offering Covid-19 antigen tests for travelers. Proof of international travel is required. The results of these tests are available within a few hours. Customers must check with individual labs for testing availability, pricing and length of time for a result.
- Laboratorio Echandi is offering COVID-19 rapid antigen testing onsite at Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose and Daniel Obuder Quiros International Airport in Liberia (LIR). Passengers should plan to arrive at least four hours prior to their flights and must present airline tickets at the time of testing. Follow this link for additional information.
- Test results are generally delivered via email.
- Testing is paid for by the individual.
- While most testing locations do not require a doctor’s referral, many do require an appointment. Most locations accept appointments via telephone.
- Please note the Ministry of Health will issue a 10–14-day sanitary quarantine order to any person receiving a positive COVID-19 test. The Ministry of Health has stated this order cannot be appealed, even if subsequent test results taken during the 10–14-day mandatory quarantine are negative for COVID-19.
- Costa Rica’s Ministry of Health recommends travelers consider testing needs when planning travel and make appointments for testing immediately upon arrival in Costa Rica.
- Airlines will review COVID-19 test results for passengers either during the airline security question process or when they speak to an agent at the counter. Passengers attempting to leave Costa Rica without valid proof of negative COVID-19 test results or documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel will not be allowed to board the plane. (Please note that most U.S. airlines require a person receiving a positive CV-19 test result to undergo a 14-day quarantine prior to boarding an airline in accordance with CDC guidelines).
Entry and Exit Requirements:
- Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes
- U.S. citizens from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. can enter Costa Rica via air on flights departing from the United States.
- U.S. citizens from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. can enter Costa Rica via designated land border crossing sites.
- Until August 1, all visitors traveling to Costa Rica will need to provide proof of a medical insurance policy to cover any COVID-19 related medical treatment or quarantine lodging while in Costa Rica. In the case of international insurance, tourists must request from their insurer a certification issued in English or Spanish, noting: 1) the validity of the policy during the dates of visit to Costa Rica, 2) guarantee of coverage for medicals expenses in cases of COVID-19 related medical treatment in the amount of 50,000 USD and, 3) minimum coverage of 2,000 USD for extended lodging expenses due to COVID-19 related illness. It is also possible to purchase a Costa Rican medical insurance policy through the National Insurance Institute (INS) or Sagicor of Costa Rica, covering the duration of your stay in Costa Rica. Please send CRS Tours an email for questions about insurance coverage that we can offer you or to verify your current insurance policy will be accepted in Costa Rica.
- Starting August 1, Costa Rica will allow entry without travel insurance to minors under 18 years of age and tourists fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. In the case of visitors from the United States, the “COVID-19 vaccination record card” will be accepted.
- Foreigners will be able to enter the country if they carry a vaccination certificate or card that contains at least the following information:
- Name of the person who received the vaccine
- Date of each dose
- Pharmaceutical company
- As of August 1, unvaccinated adult visitors traveling to Costa Rica will continue to need to provide proof of a medical insurance policy to cover any COVID-19 related medical treatment or quarantine lodging while in Costa Rica.
- In addition to the coronavirus-related measures, U.S. tourists must also have a valid passport and proof of intent to exit Costa Rica within 90 days. (To prove intent to exit, U.S. citizens must possess a return ticket or a ticket as proof of when they intend to exit the country, commonly referred to as an outbound exit or onward ticket).
- Persons wishing to travel to Nicaragua from one of Costa Rica’s designated land border crossing sites must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to the border crossing. Please see COVID-19 testing locations for more information on where to obtain a test.
- The Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) has an English-language website detailing these entry requirements: https://www.visitcostarica.com/en/costa-rica/planning-your-trip/entry-requirements.
- For up-to-date information on current entry requirements, please review the U.S. Embassy’s Mascot Messages at this link: https://cr.usembassy.gov/category/messages-for-us-citizens/
- Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry into Costa Rica? No
- U.S. citizen tourists wishing to enter Costa Rica are not required to present the results of a negative PCR test for CV-19. However, all U.S. citizen tourist must complete an epidemiological Health Pass and provide proof of health insurance to cover any medical treatment and quarantine lodging related to COVID-19 illnesses while in Costa Rica.
- Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes
- Travelers entering Costa Rica are required to fill out digital epidemiological forms, which are available in multiple languages. Any arrival displaying COVID-19 related symptoms will be tested at the airport. The Ministry of Health will follow up with all quarantining individuals.
- Movement Restrictions:
- Is a curfew in place? No
- At least through August 8, the vast majority of businesses can operate (with some capacity restrictions) from 5am until 9pm.
- National Parks will be open from 5am to 6pm but may only operate at 50% capacity
- Beaches will be open from 5:00am to 6:00pm
- Until August 8, a daytime vehicle restriction based on license plate numbers will be enforced nationwide between the hours of 5:00am and 9:00pm. For an unofficial English translation of this announcement, follow this link. Taxis, tourists with proof of hotel and flight reservations, and emergency vehicles are still allowed to circulate at all times.
- Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No
- Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? No
- If any tourist is diagnosed with COVID-19 during their trip to Costa Rica, they will receive a sanitary quarantine order upon arrival.
- Tourists testing positive for COVID-19 while in Costa Rica will be issued a sanitary quarantine order.
- Sanitary quarantine orders will be issued from 10 to 14 days depending on the severity of the infection. Tourists who are issued a sanitary order must secure lodging for the duration of the quarantine.
- The Ministry of Health has stated this sanitary order cannot be appealed, even if subsequent test results taken during the 10–14-day mandatory quarantine are negative for COVID-19.
- Please note that most U.S. airlines require a person receiving a positive CV-19 test result to undergo a 14-day quarantine prior to boarding an airline in accordance with CDC guidelines.
- Tourists complying with a valid sanitary order will not be penalized for overstaying their visa.
- Are commercial flights operating? Yes
- Commercial flights are operating from select cities in the United States. Please check individual airline website for more information.
- Is public transportation operating? Yes
- The Government of Costa Rica has mandated the use of facial coverings while waiting at bus stops and on public transportation.
- Costa Rican sources for useful COVID-19 related information:
- The Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) has an English-language website detailing entry requirements: https://www.visitcostarica.com/en/costa-rica/planning-your-trip/entry-requirements
- The link for the Ministry of Health’s Spanish social media website is: https://www.facebook.com/msaludcr/
- The link for the Ministry of Health’s webpage is: https://www.ministeriodesalud.go.cr/
- The link for the Directorate General of Immigration and Nationality is: migracion.go.cr
- Costa Rica’s Social Security System (CAJA) has set up a coronavirus hotline (dial 1322) for more information on vaccination options.