QCOSTARICA – It has not been the ideal year to travel, but some Costa Ricans are getting ready to leave or return through Costa Rica’s main international airport, the Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO).
According to data from the airport manager, Aeris, to date air traffic is only 20% compared to the same period in 2019.
The gradual reactivation of air travel remains ongoing, such as the start of new routes by JetBlue to and from Los Angeles (LAX), and United Airlines, with connections to Denver (DEN) and Los Angeles.
“From August (when the airports were re-opened) to November we have registered the departure of more than 68,000 passengers. Although the return has been progressive, we are barely reaching 20% of the traffic we had for these same dates in 2019. The first days of December show the same trend,” said Erick Barboza, Aeris commercial director.
If you are traveling to and from the San Jose airport this time of year, what must be taken into account?
According to Aeris, current conditions dictate the following scenario for those who will visit the air terminal for one reason or another.
Arrival to Costa Rica:
- Complete the digital Health Pass form of the Ministry of Health. This should be done 48 hours before boarding. The form must be completed for each person, including minors. If you have not completed it before your arrival, the Juan Santamaría International Airport has free Internet so you can do it. The form must be filled by everyone – nationals, legal residents, and visitors.
- Since October 26, Costa Rica stopped requiring the PCR-RT test with a negative result, therefore, Costa Ricans, legal residents and visitors will not receive a sanitary order (quarantine) when entering the country by air.
- Tourists must have travel medical insurance: either international or purchased in Costa Rica with authorized insurers.
- In the case of international insurance, the certification issued by the insurer must be in English or Spanish, stating at least three conditions:
– Validity of the effective policy during the visit in Costa Rica.
– Guarantee of coverage for medical expenses in cases of pandemic disease COVID 19 in Costa Rica, for at least US$50,000 AND minimum coverage of US$2,000 for extended lodging expenses due to pandemic illness or trip interruption/cancellation due to illness.
- Follow the sanitary measures established by the authorities at the terminal.
- Have your documents ready – passport, QR code for Health Pass, DIMEX card if you a resident.
- Outbound ticket or reservation, though required by immigration rules, it may not be asked
- A mask must be worn and social distancing maintained
- There are two lines, one for citizens and residents and the other for visitors. Use the proper line.
- Once you’ve passed the immigration check-in, you can pick up your luggage from the carousel and head to the customs checkpoint. All luggage has to pass through the x-ray machines.
Departing Costa Rica:
- It is recommended to arrive at the airport 3 hours before your flight and in case of long trips (especially transatlantic flights) at least 4 hours in advance.
- When leaving the country, the use of a mask is also mandatory. Remember that only the traveler can enter the departures hall.
- Follow all sanitary measures before entering the air terminal and during your passage through it.
- As part of the passenger service, the airport has 30 self-check positions in the lobby, there and on your own account, you can scan the air ticket and register with the airline. If you do not have luggage to check-in, you can go directly to the control line.
- Take into account that the passenger can carry in their hand luggage a container with gel alcohol of up to 354 milliliters (ml), while for the rest of the liquids, gels and aerosols the maximum allowed is 100 ml. The container must be removed before your luggage is subjected to X-ray inspection, otherwise, it may be discarded.
At the boarding gates
- In boarding gates, you will find spaces blocked in seats and rows in order to respect physical distance.
- The airline will establish procedures to organize the boarding process in small groups (10 passengers), beginning with the passengers in the back of the plane. During this call you must respect the distance marked in the line and scan the air ticket on your own.
- In duty-free shops, as well as in the rest of the shops, no product tastings are permitted, the lines are demarcated and the ideal is that the payment is made by credit or debit cards with contactless technology. In addition, the counters and boxes have protective acrylics.
- In the VIP rooms there will only be packaged food and the foodservice is individual. In other words, the buffet service is no longer available.