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Last updated: 11/19/2020
- Costa Rica has a total of 127,012 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March 2, 2020. 496 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 and 216 patients are in intensive care. 1,588 COVID-19 deaths have been recorded and 78,238 people have been cleared as recovered; however this figure typically lags several weeks behind actual figures.
- Essential services are open. Public transportation and hospitals are operating at normal capacity. 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, as long as they cover the nose and mouth. The Ministry of Health has stated facial coverings should not include venting devices in order to provide maximum protection against COVID-19
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.
- 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.
- Costa Rican Immigration officials have sole authority to determine the length of stay for tourists entering Costa Rica. Immigration officials are currently limiting the duration of stay to correspond with coverage dates provided by the COVID-19 medical insurance. Tourists are not able to extend their stay while in Costa Rica. Those seeking to extend their stay will be required to exit the country and purchase additional COVID-19 medical insurance prior to reentry.
- All visitors must also complete an online Health Pass (pase 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.
- As of November 1, U.S. citizens with permanent or temporary Costa Rican residency may also enter Costa Rica via air or through authorized land border crossings and must present the following documentation: 1) passport, 2) Valid DIMEX, 3) evidence Caja payments are up to date for each person entering, and 4) a completed Health Pass (Pase de Salud). U.S. citizens with residency in Costa Rica who are not up to date with Caja payments will still be allowed to enter but will be required to become up to date with all payments within 22 days. Persons in this category must also purchase health insurance to cover the cost of any COVID-19 treatment or lodging for the 22-day grace period.
- U.S. citizens with temporary or permanent residency who enter Costa Rica via a designated land border crossing will receive a sanitary order requiring a 14 day in home quarantine.
- 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? No
- U.S. citizen tourists wishing to enter Costa Rica are no longer required to present the results of a negative PCR test for CV-19. However, all U.S. citizen tourist must still 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.
- The Costa Rica Directorate of Migration has announced that tourists who entered Costa Rica after December 17, 2019 and who enter until November 30, 2020 can legally remain in the country until March 2, 2021. Immigration control officers will determine the legal length of stay in Costa Rica for all tourists who enter as of December 1, 2020.
- The Public Works Transport Ministry (MOPT) has announced that tourists who entered Costa Rica between December 17, 2019 and November 30, 2020, will be allowed to use a foreign driver’s license to operate a vehicle until March 2, 2021. Tourist entering Costa Rica as of December 1, 2020 can legally drive in Costa Rica using a foreign driver’s license for up to three months after their date of arrival. Tourist in both categories should also have a copy of their passport photo page and entry stamp for Costa Rica with them while driving. The grace period for obtaining a Costa Rican driver’s license extended to U.S. citizens with temporary and permanent residency in Costa Rica since March 2020 will expire on January 11, 2021. After that date, holders of temporary or permanent residency will no longer be able to drive with a foreign license. The full text of this announcement can be found at this link. An unofficial English translation of this announcement can be found at this link. Appointments to obtain a Costa Rican driver’s license can be found at this link.
- Is a curfew in place? No
- The Government of Costa Rica has implemented daily nationwide driving restrictions based upon license plate number. Costa Rica’s National Emergency Commission (CNE) frequently announces updates regarding driving restrictions as well as the areas under Orange or Yellow Alert.
- For the most up-to-date information, please review the U.S. Embassy’s Mascot Messages at this link: https://cr.usembassy.gov/category/messages-for-us-citizens/
- Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No
- There are no restrictions for intercity or interstate travel; however, nationwide driving restrictions based on license plate number are in effect.
- 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 quarantine order upon arrival.
- Testing is available at Hospital La Católica, Hospital Cima, Hospital Metropolitano and Hospital Clinica Biblica as well as the following laboratories located around Costa Rica: LABIN, Echandi, Laboratorio Páez, Laboratorios San José. The cost is around USD 100, and results are typically ready within 24 to 48 hours. Testing is paid for by the individual.
- 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.
Fines for Non-Compliance:
- Any individuals who violates a mandated sanitary order or restriction will be subject to a fine between 450,200 to 2,300,000 colones depending on the violation.
- The American Citizen Services section has opened a LIMITED NUMBER of appointments for routine services to include accepting applications and renewals for full validity U.S. passports, Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, notary services, and applications for social security numbers. Please visit the U.S. Embassy website at https://cr.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/ to see the next available appointments for passports, CRBA, and notary services. Please email the Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) at FBU.CostaRica@ssa.gov to schedule an appointment to apply for a social security number.
- We are currently unable to provide routine in-person services for U.S. citizens. This includes welfare and whereabouts visits, prison visits, and outreach to U.S. citizen communities across Costa Rica. U.S. citizens with emergencies may contact email@example.com call +506-2519-2590 during business hours and +506-2519-2000 after hours.
- The U.S. Embassy San Jose suspended routine consular and visa services on March 18, 2020 due to COVID-19. Visa applicants with urgent matters and immediate travel, can follow the guidance provided at https://www.ustraveldocs.com/cr/cr-niv-expeditedappointment.asp to request an emergency appointment.
- 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
- COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov
- CDC page on COVID-19
- World Health Organization.
- Travel.state.gov Country Information and Travel Advisory page.