Sunday 5 February 2023

Flights from Costa Rica: check the rules for entering the U.S., Canada and Europe

Many countries with direct routes from Costa Rica adjusted their health requirements in December due to the omicron variant

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QCOSTARICA – If planning to travel to the United States or Europe directly from Costa Rica, carefully check the sanitary requirements, as several nations changed their requirements in December due to the Omicron variant.

Below are the current travel rules for direct flights from Costa Rica.

United States

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As of December 6, all travelers older than two years of age, regardless of their vaccination status, must provide a negative covid-19 test taken within one calendar day of the travel date. Travelers are also required to provide an affidavit certifying the negative result of the rapid test, a document that is usually requested by the airline before the flight.


Until January 31, 2022, passengers are not allowed to enter if they are not Canadian, permanent residents of Canada, persons registered under Canada’s Indian Act with a Certificate of Indian Status (CIS), or immediate family members of Canadians, permanent residents, and persons registered under the Indian Act, among others and stay at least 15 days and have a quarantine plan. See more here.

Fully vaccinated foreign nationals are eligible to enter or return to Canada if they qualify as a fully vaccinated traveler.

Air Canada and Westjet offer direct flights between the San Jose and Liberia airports and Canada.


Those who arrive in Spain by air or sea, including those in transit to other countries, must fill out a Health Control Form not more than 48 hours prior to departure and obtain your QR Code, to show it at the control points upon arrival in Spain. More information at

In addition, travelers must present a certificate or document certifying complete vaccination or diagnostic test of recovery of covid-19. Children under 12 years of age are exempt from presenting these certificates.

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The unvaccinated must also present a RT-PCR, RT-LAMP, TMA) /RAT (rapid antigen test) with a negative result performed no later than 72 hours before admission or antigen tests no more than 48 hours after the expected time of entry.

Iberia offers regular direct flights between Costa Rica’s San Jose airport (SJO) and Madrid (MAD).


Vaccinated can present negative antigen or PCR test no more than 48 hours prior to flight and vaccination certificate from the Ministry of Health if vaccinated in Costa Rica. This document does not need to be apostilled. Also, carry an affidavit in which you agree to take a covid-19 test upon arrival in France.

If not fully vaccinated, apart from the above requirements, you will need to be isolated for seven days. At the end of this time, you must undergo a PCR test.

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Air France flies directly between SJO and Paris (CDG).


It is mandatory for anyone over six years of age to present a negative test for covid-19 or a certificate of recovery from the disease or a complete vaccination certificate. Antigen or PCR tests cannot be more than 48 hours from the scheduled time of entry.

Direct flights from San Jose to Frankfort (FRA) are offered by Lufthansa.


The fully vaccinated or recovered from the disease must also present a Health Registration Form to obtain a verification QR code that will be reviewed at immigration control. You can find the form at this link. In addition, from December 20, a negative PCR test must be submitted no more than 72 hours old with respect to the time of arrival in that country and a rapid antigen test also negative for no more than 24 hours.

Non-vaccinated people can enter as long as they present a negative PCR or rapid antigen test in the same terms mentioned, but they will be required to perform a second test between 4 and 7 days after entering Switzerland. Completely vaccinated and recovered persons are exempt from this.

Swissair has direct flights from San Jose to Zurich.


The fully vaccinated must take a COVID-19 test – to be taken in the 2 days before you travel to England, book and pay for a COVID-19 PCR test – to be taken after you arrive in England and complete a passenger locator form – to be completed in the 48 hours before you arrive in England.

If you will be in England for less than two days, you must still book and pay for a PCR test for that second day. These travelers must also be quarantined until they have a negative test result or leave England, whichever comes first.

If you are not 100% vaccinated, obtain a negative covid-19 test that must be taken 2 days before traveling, quarantine for 10 days upon arrival, have booked and paid for each PCR test for days 2 and 8 during the quarantine and complete a passenger location form (must be completed within 48 hours prior to arrival).

British Airways operates direct flights from the Juan Santamaria Airport to London.


Costa Rica is classified by that nation as “high risk” due to covid-19. Therefore, Costa Ricans must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival. If you do a test on day 5 during quarantine and the result is negative, you can end that isolation.

KLM has direct flights from Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaria International Airport, in San Jose (SJO) and the Daniel Oduber International Airport, in Liberia, Guanacaste (LIR).

Please note, for the most current requirements for travel to your destination country visit the destination country’s official travel website. Also, check for any update requirements from the airline prior to booking your travel and boarding.

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