QCOSTARICA – In an effort to increase visitation to maintain economic chains and jobs, starting August 1, 2021, Costa Rica will no longer require medical insurance for tourists who are fully vaccinated and minors under 18 years of age.
The Minister of Tourism, Gustavo Segura, made the announcement on Friday at a press conference.
The change takes effect just one year after the reopening of the air borders.
Of course, Segura clarified that authorities at the airport will not just take the tourist’s word that they have been vaccinated, they must carry a vaccination certificate or card that contains at minimum the following information:
- Name of the person who received the vaccines.
- Date of each dose
- Pharmaceutical house
In the case of visitors from the United States, the so-called “COVID-19 vaccination record card” will be accepted.
Only the following vaccines will be accepted: Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. In addition, the last dose of the vaccine must have been applied at least 14 days before arrival in the country.
The requirement of presenting the “Health Pass” form, within 72 hours prior to departure, will continue to be required by all passengers, regardless of age or vaccination status, who enter through the Juan Santamaría airport in San Jose (SJO) and Daniel Oduber Quirós airport in Liberia, Guanacaste (LIR).
Tourists not fully vaccinated must continue to acquire mandatory travel insurance that covers lodging in the event of quarantine as well as medical expenses due to contracting COVID-19. The insurance policy may be obtained from any international insurance company that meets the following requirements:
- Valid for the entire stay in Costa Rica (coverage dates).
- US$50,000 for medical expenses, including those from COVID-19.
- US$2,000 for lodging expenses in the event of COVID-19 quarantine.
The insurance certificate must specify that the policy covers COVID-19 and must be attached to the HEALTH PASS for review and approval by the Costa Rican authorities.
Tourists can also opt for any of the following Costa Rican insurance companies, which sell products that are registered and authorized by the Office of the Superintendent General of Insurance of Costa Rica.
- INS: https://www.grupoins.com/seguros-para-viajero/seguro-viajero-ingreso-costa-rica/
- Sagicor: https://tiendasagicor.com/en/
- BlueCross BlueShield: https://www.bluecrossblueshieldcr.com/rod
Tourism by the numbers
During the first six months of this year, Costa Rica received 497,449 tourists by air, the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) – Costa Rican Tourism Board – reported on Tuesday.
According to the ICT data, 73% of arrivals came from the United States, that is, 362,435 people; Meanwhile, 14% came from Europe (69,642 travelers).
The ICT highlighted that at the Daniel Oduber Quirós airport the recovery in June was particularly positive, representing 92% of what was received in the same month of 2019. In the case of the Juan Santamaría Airport, it was 50%.
Despite the improvement, the ICT indicated that the arrival of tourists fell by 34% in the first half of this year, compared to the 667,476 foreigners who visited the country in the same period of 2020.
During the first three months of last year, there was a high influx of tourists to the country, which then plummeted as of April as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.
When the results are compared with the first six months of 2019, the decline is even greater, since 1.3 million vacationers arrived in that period.