QCOSTARICA – The Minister of Tourism, Gustavo Seguro, announced this Tuesday afternoon an agreement for private laboratories to help in conducting covid-19 tests for travelers bound for the United States, Canada, Spain, the United Kingdom and other countries that require a negative covid-19 test as an entry requirement.
Segura, who also heads Costa Rica’s Tourism Board, the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT), during a press conference this Tuesday, confirmed an understanding agreement with the Cámara Costarricense de la Salud (Costa Rican Chamber of Health) that groups private laboratories in the country, to create a network of more than 130 clinical laboratories and duly equipped sites to meet the new regulations imposed by some countries.
The results of these tests will be delivered in not more than 48 hours for both samples taken outside and within the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM).
The minister added that the maximum suggested price for covid tests will be US$100 in the GAM and US$150 outside the GAM. Obviously, free market conditions will prevail and the actual cost to users could be below the maximums.
“It is a maximum price suggested in that understanding agreement,” said the chief.
The Health Ministry has already issued the authorization to allow those laboratories to do the tests, but only to meet travel requirements to destinations.
Recently, the Q published a list of clinics and laboratories “Where to get a Covid test in Costa Rica” already authorized and with prices starting around US$80.
Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative Covid-19 test taken within three calendar days of travel. 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.
The USA accepts RT-PCR and antigen tests as valid tests. The latter will be allowed by the Ministry of Health only to meet travel requirements to the US, but not as a diagnostic test in Costa Rica.
Since January 19, the United Kingdom requires a negative RT-PCR result to enter that country. More info here.
Canada made the same requirement on January 7. In addition, ALL persons entering Canada must quarantine for 14 days. More info here.
In previous weeks Spain has requested the same test.
The COVID-19 Travel Regulations Map by IATA is a great tool for information on entry requirements around the world.