Travel Alert: U.S. Embassy San Jose (30 September 2021)
Location: Costa Rica — Level 4 Do Not Travel
Event: Important Information on COVID-19 Testing Requirements. Costa Rican Sanitary Measures and Driving Restrictions Through October 15. PLEASE READ ENTIRE MESSAGE.
COVID 19 In Costa Rica:
Costa Rica has confirmed 530,119 cases of COVID-19 as of September 30, 2021. 1,335 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, 440 of them in intensive care. Costa Rica has reported 6,349 COVID-19-related deaths since March 2, 2020.
Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative Covid-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of flight departure from Costa Rica. Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. 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.
Persons receiving a positive COVID-19 test may receive a mandatory quarantine order for 10-14 days, depending on the severity of the infection. Persons who receive a negative COVID-19 test who have been traveling with other persons who test positive may also receive a mandatory quarantine order for 10-14 days due to exposure risk. The Ministry of Health has sole discretion in issuing quarantine orders and the U.S. Embassy is not able to intervene. Failure to comply with a mandatory quarantine order can result in fines or other legal penalties.
Both PCR and Antigen tests are available in Costa Rica. Most results are available within 24 hours. Testing is available at medical facilities across Costa Rica. Please note, the Embassy has received reports of unlicensed businesses offering COVID-19 tests. Passengers presenting tests from unlicensed locations or falsified test results could be denied boarding, required to pay fines, or face other legal penalties, and be required to retest prior to departing Costa Rica. Follow this link for a complete list of properly licensed testing locations throughout Costa Rica.
Minors under 18 years of age and adult tourists fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are no longer required to show proof of travel insurance. 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for questions about insurance coverage or to verify your current insurance policy will be accepted in Costa Rica.
At least through October 15, most businesses can operate (with some capacity restrictions) from 5am until 9pm. National Parks and beaches will be open from 5am to 8pm and may operate at 100% capacity.
At least through October 15, a weekday daytime vehicle restriction based on license plate numbers will be enforced nationwide between the hours of 5:00am and 9:00pm. A daily nighttime driving restriction from 9:00pm to 5:00am will also be in place national wide 7 days a week. 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.
The weekday nighttime driving ban from 9pm until 5am will continue through October 15.
- Mondays: Vehicles with plates ending in 1 and 2 cannot circulate.
- Tuesdays: Vehicles with plates ending in 3 and 4 cannot circulate.
- Wednesdays: Vehicles with plates ending in 5 and 6 cannot circulate.
- Thursdays: Vehicles with plates ending in 7 and 8 cannot circulate.
- Fridays: Vehicles with plates ending in 9 and 0 cannot circulate.
- Vehicles with plates ending in even numbers cannot circulate on the 3rd or the 9th.
- Vehicles with plates ending in odd numbers cannot circulate on the 2nd or the 10th.
- U.S. Embassy San Jose
- State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444