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 the new protocols and procedures. Note that this is a quickly 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.

Updated: November 16, 2020

Process of Entering Costa Rica amidst Coronavirus Pandemic

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. Land borders remain closed at this moment. 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 has been being updated. 

What are the requirements to enter Costa Rica?

To travel to Costa Rica you must:

  1. Have travel insurance that covers accommodation and expenses generated by the COVID-19 disease, offered by one of the authorized insurers in Costa Rica or another international provider that complies with the requirements.
    You can purchase your travel insurance through any of the following Costa Rican insurance providers if you don’t have one:
    Grupo INS
    Sagicor (recommended by Bodhi Surf + Yoga)
    *Does not apply to Costa Ricans, residents, or diplomats.
  2. Have remained for at least 14 days in one of the countries or U.S. states to which Costa Rica has opened its air borders to.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

IMPORTANT: Do I have to do a Covid-19 test?

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

IMPORTANT: Do I have to purchase travel insurance?

Yes, you have to purchase travel insurance.

Starting immediately, international tourists 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.

Can I purchase a Costa Rica national insurance plan?

Yes, you can purchase a plan through the Costa Rica National Insurance company (INS) or a private insurance provider SAGICOR. We recommend using SAGICOR for their coverage and efficient customer service. Click here to purchase SAGICOR plan.

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.

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.