(QCOSTARICA) The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) confirmed that as of Sunday, September 13, United Airlines airline will have 15 additional flights from Houston and New Jersey. Additionally, American Airlines will fly four times a week to the Daniel Oduber Airport from Miami and Dallas beginning in October.
“We receive these hopeful announcements with great joy and satisfaction, especially due to the increase in flights in September and October to both international airports, coming from the United States, our main source market for tourists,” said Gustavo Segura, Minister of Tourism.
United will have daily flights from Houston, Texas (IAH) to the Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO), and three times a week (Thursdays, Saturdays and Sunday) to the Daniel Oduber Quirós (LIR), in Liberia with the possibility of increasing flights in October.
And in October, will begin four flights a week to daily flights from Newark, New Jersy (WR) to San Jose and weekly (Saturdays) to Liberia (LIR).
United assures that in October there will be 18 weekly flights from the US (adding Denver, Colorado in late October), three more than this month (September).
For its part, American Airlines confirmed five weekly flights to Liberia from Miami, Florida (MIA) and once a week from Dallas, Texas (DFW).
Delta Airlines said it plans to fly to Guanacaste from Atlanta, Georgia (ATL), but did not specify when flights would resume or the frequency,.
The director of Civil Aviation, Álvaro Vargas, explained that although the newly announced flights would come from cities in states whose residents are not authorized to enter Costa Rica, the entry of passengers in transit is allowed that come from authorized states.
“In addition to bringing repatriation passengers who are Costa Rican or residents, they will also bring passengers in transit who come from cities that are duly authorized,” he explained.
For example, a resident of any one of the authorized states (New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Maryland, and Washington D.C., as of September 1 and Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Colorado from September 15) could fly to Miami, Dallas or Houston and onto Costa Rica.
Also, a traveler could fly from Europe to Miami or New York, for example, and from there to San Jose or Guanacaste, or make a domestic transfer between one of the authorized states to one of the cities from where these flights will depart and from there fly to Costa Rica.
Important to note that the transfers are permitted with the proviso that the passenger does not leave the airport and that the wait in that terminal does not exceed 18 hours.
To enter Costa Rica, they must continue to meet the requirements that, among other things, include the negative COVID-19 PCR test with at least 72 hours of having taken it, medical insurance, complete the Health Form and for U.S. tourists, demonstrate through their driver’s license or State ID of their residency in one of the authorized states.
The United States is historically Costa Rica’s main tourist source. During 2019, more than half of the tourists who entered came from the United States.
According to the ICT, in 2019, some US$3.96 billion dollars of foreign exchange was generated. In addition, tourism employed 219,000 people directly and some 400,000 indirectly.
As of September 1, private flights are allowed to enter the country from the United States, given that due to their size and nature they have a much lower epidemiological risk.
For those who come aboard private flights, the same foregoing requirements will apply and if they come from a place of origin that is not authorized, they must receive prior approval from the Ministry of Health and Costa Rica’s immigration service, the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (DGME), by sending a written request that contains the full name of the passengers, nationality, ages, legible copy of the biographical page of each one’s passport, date of arrival, the airport of arrival and origin of the flight and reason for its admissibility (ie, investment analysis; property in Costa Rica; humanitarian reasons; etc).
In addition to arrivals by air, Costa Rica now allows the entry of tourists on yachts and sailboats.
Tourists who come from any one of the approved countries – European Union (Schengen zone), United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, China, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Uruguay, and 12 U.S. states – and would have not made a stopover elsewhere will be able to enter the national territory without any inconvenience.
For the entry of tourists by sea, yachts or sailboats must dock in the authorized marinas such as Golfito, Los Sueños, Pez Vela, Banana Bay, and Papagayo.
Costa Rica’s land borders continue closed to foreigners. Only Costa Ricans and foreigner residents who left Costa Rica prior to March 25 can enter the country via land borders – Peñas Blancas and Las Tablilla with Nicaragua and Paso Canos and Sixaola with Panama.
According to the DGME, the land borders will continue closed until September 30, 2020.