Sunday 26 September 2021

EU once again excludes Costa Rica

This despite the country opens its the door to European tourism on Saturday

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(QCOSTARICA) For the third time, Costa Rica was excluded this Friday from the list of countries authorized to send passengers on commercial flights to the European Union, even though since last week Costa Rica announced that it will accept the entry of tourists from the EU starting this Saturday, August 1.

General view of the empty central area in the atrium of the building of the Council of the European Union (EU) on the fourth day of a summit in Brussels held on July 20. Photography: AFP.

This was confirmed by the European Council in the third review of a list of nations that began with 15, on June 30, and at the end of July, it was reduced to 12.

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The EU reopened borders to flights for citizens of 15 countries outside the bloc that it considered to be least risky, according to the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of today, only Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay (the only Latin American country) remain, according to a statement. Also included is China, which has not yet opened its borders to Europe.

However, this does not mean that European citizens in Costa Rica cannot fly to countries such as Spain, France, Germany, Italy and others.

Exempted from the restrictions: EU citizens and their family members, long-term EU residents and their family members, travelers with an essential function or need.

The EU Council on the epidemiological situation said third countries listed should meet the following criteria, in particular:

  • Number of new COVID-19 cases over the last 14 days and per 100 000 inhabitants close to or below the EU average (as it stood on 15 June 2020)
  • Stable or decreasing trend of new cases over this period in comparison to the previous 14 days
  • Overall response to COVID-19 taking into account available information, including on aspects such as testing, surveillance, contact tracing, containment, treatment and reporting, as well as the reliability of the information and, if needed, the total average score for International Health Regulations (IHR). Information provided by EU delegations on these aspects should also be taken into account.

Reciprocity should also be taken into account regularly and on a case-by-case basis.

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Find the COVID-19 Travel Regulations Map here for information on travel requirements around the world.

Last week, on July 23, Costa Rica’s Tourism Minister, Gustavo Segura, indicated in a press conference that Costa Rica would begin to receive tourists first from the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

The plan is to start with five flights per week, for which airlines such as Iberia, Lufthansa and Air France had begun to process the resumption of operations.

“The reopening is necessary as a signal for the international tourism sector to make its forecasts. The analysis of new routes depend on many factors and it will be gradual and responsible, ”explained the minister at the time.

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