As the coronavirus situation evolves around the world, we will provide regular updates to help you make informed decisions about your Costa Rica travel plans.
Latest Update: AUGUST 25
Costa Rica has 34,463 confirmed cases of COVID-19 within its borders. 12,758 people have recovered, and 362 people have died, leaving 21,343 active cases.
As of September 1, 2020, international passenger flights from the following regions are authorized to arrive in Costa Rica:
THE EUROPEAN UNION, SCHENGEN ZONE, AND THE UNITED KINGDOM: for flights from the European Union, the Schengen Zone, and the United Kingdom, for citizens and residents of the European Union, the Schengen Zone, and the United Kingdom.
CANADA: for flights from Canada, for citizens and residents of Canada, and for residents of the European Union, the Schengen Zone, and the United Kingdom.
- UNITED STATES: tourists from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampsire and Vermont will be able to visit.
The requirements are as follows:
- Having taken the PCR diagnostic test and obtained a negative result within 48 hours of travel to Costa Rica. The test must be a real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assay, and the results must be presented in .jpg or .pdf file formats with complete information about the institution, doctor and certification. Many countries are experiencing testing wait times of 3-7 days for rPCR test results, and none have guaranteed turnaround times.
- Have mandatory travel insurance, covering lodging in the event of being quarantined and medical expenses due to acute illness. Migracion will require evidence of multiple insurance policies - one from INS (the Costa Rican government insurance agency) demonstrating medical coverage, and one from an insurance provider offering international travel insurance, and covering quarantine costs if necessary. Prices for the INS insurance range from USD $20-$120 per person per day, depending on age and other factors.
- Fill out the epidemiological digital form.
- Passengers who do not comply with these requirements will not be allowed to board their flight.
Upon landing in Costa Rican territory, travelers must wear mandatory face masks and comply with the strict protocols of the air terminal with regard to physical distancing, disinfection of carpets, and taking temperature readings, and must follow any other sanitary instructions. Face masks are required in all enclosed public spaces in Costa Rica at this time.
In early June, the country imposed yellow and orange emergency alerts, with stricter restrictions in place for various districts and cantones with active outbreaks. Additional restrictions in these areas include more stringent vehicular restrictions, the closure of several waterways, and specific measures for businesses requiring a health permit. View a full list and map of districts on the Ministry of Health's website.
The airport in San José is currently the only airport receiving international flights. There are airport protocols in place to deal with suspected cases - all new arrivals displaying COVID-related symptoms will be tested at the airport.
Other Important Information & Restrictions:
On May 1, Costa Rica began to relax restrictions as part of a gradual, 4-phase plan to reopen. Having entered Phase III of the plan in late June, the following restrictions apply:
- Beaches are now open from 5:00 am to 9:30 am (weekdays and weekends).
- National parks and private reserves have opened at 50% capacity.
- All hotels are allowed to open at 50% capacity (although many have chosen to stay closed until borders open).
- All stores, cinemas, theaters and museums can open at 50% capacity.
- A complete vehicular restriction (no travel allowed) from 10 pm to 5 am, and a partial restriction remains on weekends, based on license plate number.
- The reopening of bars has been delayed until further notice.
- Mass gathering events - including concerts, sporting events, festivals and fairs - remain closed for the foreseeable future.
- Face masks are required in all public enclosed spaces.
- Costa Rica Tourism Board dedicated COVID page (English)
- Ministry of Health website (Spanish)
- Ministry of Health Facebook page (Spanish)
- General Directorate of Migration and Aliens website (Spanish)
- World Health Organization’s (WHO) – Latest Updates on COVID-19
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control – Latest Updates on COVID-19
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Information for Travel
- Johns Hopkins – Map of confirmed cases worldwide
- The Tico Times – English-language online newspaper in Costa Rica