Requirements for passengers entering the United States

The Government of Costa Rica has announced that requirements to provide proof of vaccination status, purchase supplemental health insurance, and submit an online health pass within 72 hours of travel will be suspended as of April 1, 2022. 

Requirements for passengers entering the United States

The Government of Costa Rica has announced that requirements to provide proof of vaccination status, purchase supplemental health insurance, and submit an online health pass within 72 hours of travel will be suspended as of April 1, 2022. 

COVID-19 Information

Last updated: 3/21/2022

 ***    Effective December 6, 2021, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older, regardless of vaccination status or citizenship, must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within one calendar day of travel.  Alternatively, travelers to the United States may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel.  Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.

Exemptions will be considered on an extremely limited basis.  Please visit the CDC webpages for more information about exemptions and the requirement for proof of negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19 for all air passengers arriving in the United States.

Country-Specific Information:

  • Essential services are open. Public transportation is operating at normal capacity though the number of standing passengers allowed on buses has been limited to 20.  Facial coverings are required in all public spaces and in all indoor settings except when eating, while alone, or in a private home.  The use of facial coverings is also mandatory at bus stops and on all forms of public transportation.  Face shields can continue to be worn, but only if a face covering is worn underneath.  Face coverings can be either surgical or homemade if they cover the nose and mouth.  The Ministry of Health has stated facial coverings should not include venting devices to provide maximum protection against COVID-19. 

COVID-19 Testing:

  • Are PCR tests available for U.S. citizens in Costa Rica? Yes
  • If so, are test results reliably available within 24 hours? Yes
    • Results for COVID 19 tests conducted in San Jose and the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) are generally available within 24. 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.
  • Costa Rica’s Ministry of Health does not currently accept the results of at home self-administered or proctor administered COVID-19 tests.
  • 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 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 mandatory quarantine are negative for COVID-19.
  • 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. 

COVID-19 Vaccination Information:

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.
    • Costa Rica allows entry without travel insurance to minors under 18 years of age and adult tourists fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac, Sinopharm, and Covaxin vaccines.   In the case of visitors from the United States, the “COVID-19 vaccination record card” will be accepted.
    • The Government of Costa Rica has announced that requirements to provide proof of vaccination status, purchase supplemental health insurance, and submit an online health pass within 72 hours of travel will be suspended as of April 1, 2022.  The below criteria will remain in place through March 31, 2022.
  • 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
    • Until April 1, 2022, 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 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 an email to seguros@ict.go.cr for questions about insurance coverage or to verify your current insurance policy will be accepted in Costa Rica.
    • Costa Rican Immigration officials have sole authority to determine the length of stay for tourists entering Costa Rica.  Tourist seeking to extend their stay beyond the date indicated by immigration officials must contact the Directorate General for Migration.  More information can be found at this link.  Tourists are not able to extend their stay in Costa Rica beyond 90 days. 
    • Until April 1, 2022, all visitors must also complete an online Health Pass (pasa de Salud) 48 hours prior to travel to Costa Rica.  The Health Pass can be found at https://salud.go.cr.
  • 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.
  • 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 COVID-19.  However, until April 1, 2022, all U.S. citizen visitors must complete an epidemiological Health Pass.  Fully vaccinated U.S. citizens do not have to provide proof of health insurance but must provide proof of full vaccination.  Until April 1, 2022, unvaccinated U.S. citizens must provide proof of health insurance to cover any COVID-19 related expenses for the duration of their stay 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.
    • The Government of Costa Rica has announced that requirements to provide proof of vaccination status, purchase supplemental health insurance, and submit an online health pass within 72 hours of travel will be suspended as of April 1, 2022.  The above criteria for U.S. citizens will remain in place through March 31, 2022. 

Movement Restrictions:

  • Is a curfew in place? No
    • Until April 1, non-essential businesses may voluntarily opt to require vaccination verification via QR code for entry if they wish to allow up to 100% capacity.  Those businesses who do not wish to require vaccination verification, may continue to operate at reduced capacity.  QR codes received by visitors when completing the required Health Pass may be used by vaccinated visitors for this purpose.
    • As of December 17, people vaccinated outside of Costa Rica who do not have a QR code can present their vaccination card to businesses requiring proof of vaccination status.
  • The weekday daytime restrictions now apply ONLY within the circunvalacion area in San Jose.
    • The nationwide nighttime vehicle restrictions have been suspended.
  • Costa Rica’s National Emergency Commission (CNE) frequently announces updates regarding driving restrictions as well as the areas under Orange or Yellow Alert.
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No

Quarantine Information:

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine upon entry? No
    • Tourists testing positive for COVID-19 while in Costa Rica will be issued a sanitary quarantine order.
    • The length of sanitary quarantine orders will depend on the severity of the infection.  They are typically issued for 7 – 14 days.  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 mandatory quarantine are negative for COVID-19.
    • Please also note the recently revised CDC recommendation of a 5-day quarantine period is only applicable in the United States.  It does not apply in Costa Rica.  Only Costa Rica’s Ministry of Health has the authority to determine the length of quarantine for persons who test positive in Costa Rica.
    • Tourists complying with a valid sanitary order will not be penalized for overstaying their visa.
  • Costa Rica’s Ministry of Health does not currently accept the results of at home self-administered or proctor administered COVID-19 tests. 

Transportation Options:

  • 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.

Local Resources:

  • Costa Rican sources for useful COVID-19 related information:

Other links:

If you require additional information, please let us know.

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For the latest information on Covid 19 in Costa Rica click here.

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