The Process of Entering into Costa Rica During Covid-19

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If you are looking to visit Costa Rica during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, you may have some questions about protocols and procedures. Note that this is an ever-changing situation, and we do our best to update this blog frequently and as new, important developments occur. We also have an excellent blog which aims to answer your questions about visiting Bodhi Surf + Yoga in the COVID era, which you can find here. In this blog, we still specifically discuss the process of entering the country.

These requirements change frequently, so we advise you check the official Ministry of Tourism site here for full, official, and up-to-date details. 

Process of Entering Costa Rica amidst Coronavirus Pandemic

What are the requirements to enter Costa Rica?

Citizens from which countries are allowed to enter Costa Rica?

As of November 1, 2020, Costa Rica is open via air transfer to citizens of any country in the world. On March 20, 2020 the borders of Costa Rica were closed, and only residents and citizens were allowed to enter. On August 1st, the borders reopened to some countries, and bit by bit between that date and November 1st, 2020, the list was updated.

Do I need to do a Covid-19 test to enter Costa Rica?

As of October 26, 2020, the Costa Rican government has removed the Covid-19 test requirement. So you DO NOT need to do a Covid-19 test before entering the country.

There are some countries that require a negative Covid-19 test to return home, be sure to check with your own country’s embassy before travel.

Do I have to purchase travel insurance?

This depends, are you fully vaccinated?

Since of August 1st, 2021, travelers showing proof of full vaccination have been exempt from purchasing the travel insurance policy for minors and for adults.

In order to qualify, visitors must meet the following requirements:

  • Have received an approved vaccine: Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, or Johnson & Johnson.
  • The last dose of the schedule must have been administered at least 14 days before entering Costa Rica.
  • 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, the Covid-19 vaccination record card meets the requirement.
  • Carefully read, complete, and accept the conditions presented in the LEGAL TERMS of the digital epidemiological form “Pase de Salud / Health Pass” of Costa Rica.

Read more here.

If you are not fully vaccinated, then you do have to purchase travel insurance.

As of August 1, 2021, international tourists who are not fully vaccinated when entering the country will be allowed to do so with a travel insurance policy that meets the following requirements, according to the Costa Rica’s Institute of Tourism (ICT) document (you can read the full Tico Times article here):

  1. The policy is valid throughout their scheduled visit to Costa Rica.
  2. It covers medical expenses in Costa Rica related to COVID of at least USD $50,000.
  3. It includes a minimum coverage of USD $2,000 for accommodation expenses related to Covid-19.

You can purchase your travel insurance through any of the following Costa Rican insurance providers if you don’t have one. Note that this does not apply to Costa Ricans, residents, or diplomats.

  • Grupo INS
  • Sagicor (recommended by Bodhi Surf + Yoga)
  • Not show or experience symptoms associated with COVID-19, such as: fever, cough, loss of smell or taste, signs of respiratory infection, diarrhea, among others.
  • Carefully read, complete, and accept the conditions presented in the LEGAL TERMS of the digital epidemiological form “Pase de Salud / Health Pass” of Costa Rica.
    *Note that you must submit your insurance policy number and upload the result of your negative COVID-19 test (as a PDF or JPG) as part of the epidemiological form

Do I have to purchase insurance through a national (i.e. Costa Rican) insurance provider?

No, you can purchase a foreign travel policy (i.e. not Costa Rican). If you purchase insurance through a foreign travel policy, then the ICT will require the following:

  1. A signed declaration indicating the policy meets the requirements. This document needs to be in English or Spanish.
  2. Proof from the insurance company indicating the policy covers the tourist(s).
  3. Tourists will receive a response to their request within 24 hours on workdays, or 48 hours on weekends/holidays.
  4. If the policy does not meet the requirements, the tourist will be notified. They will have 24 hours to correct the issue, or they can purchase a plan that has been pre-approved by the General Insurance Superintendency.
  5. If the policy meets requirements and is approved, ICT will send the tourist a QR code that must be shown to Costa Rican immigration authorities at the airport. The relevant documents from Step 1 must also be submitted as part of the digital Health Pass that is required for all travelers.

Natural Beauty in Costa Rica

Is there a quarantine period?

Tourists will not be required to quarantine (self-isolate).

However, if a tourist is diagnosed with Covid-19 during their trip to Costa Rica, they will be issued a 14-day quarantine (isolation order) and will not be able to leave the country until the isolation order is complete. The extended stay would be covered by their insurance plan.

Please make sure that you confirm any quarantine guidelines in your home country for your return home.

Important Update: As of November 8 2021, U.S. residents who are fully vaccinated will be required to provide a negative Covid-19 test from within three calendar days of travel back to the United States, whereas U.S. residents who are not fully vaccinated must provide a negative Covid-19 test from within one calendar day.

If I’m a passport holder of an approved country, can I fly through the US?

As of November 1st, 2020, all countries in the world are approved, including all of the U.S. states.

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About the author

Bodhi Surf + Yoga

A surf and yoga camp providing community-engaged travel experiences in beautiful Uvita, Costa Rica. Learn about what makes Bodhi Surf + Yoga different and don't hesitate to contact us.