Wednesday 22 September 2021

In a week, Costa Rica off and on the list of risk countries in Spain for covid-19

On February 22, Costa Rica was off Spain's risk list, however, it will be back on as of March 1

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QCOSTARICA – Spain had excluded Costa Rica from the list of risk countries to enter by air for presenting a negative covid-19 test (RT-PCR, RT-LAMP, or TMA) before arrival.

Data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) indicate that Costa Rica registered, between February 8 and 21, 5,239 new cases of covid-19 and, thus, obtained a cumulative incidence of 102.8 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants.

As of February 22, Costa Rica remained off the list that includes countries in Latin America such as Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay. The list also includes the United States.

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However, as of March 1, Costa Rica will once again be on the list of countries at risk, based on the data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

This implies that some requirements are reactivated for all travelers entering Spain from Costa Rica.

“All third countries, except those included in the Annex of Order INT / 657/2020, of July 17, which modifies the criteria for the application of a temporary restriction of non-essential travel from third countries to the Union European and Schengen associated countries for reasons of public order and public health due to the health crisis caused by covid-19,” adds Spain’s Ministerio de Sanidad (Ministry of Health) in the new list of countries at risk.

The new measure will be in force until March 14.

So, people who leave Costa Rica for Spain, from March 1 to March 14, must present a certificate with the negative result covid-19 test.

In addition, they will have to undergo a health control when they arrive, which includes taking of temperature, filling out a Health Control Form (FCS) and visual control, as indicated by the Spanish Government website. These last requirements apply to travelers from all countries, even if they are not on the risk list.

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The list of risk countries is not definitive. The list and the inclusion criteria are updated every 15 days and are published on the Spanish Ministry of Health website.

Prior to Spain’s decision, Costa Rica’s Minister of Tourism, Gustavo Segura, had shown his optimism.

“This is the result of the excellent sanitary management of the pandemic that has yielded very good results in recent weeks and of a very strict adoption by the private tourism sector of the contagion prevention protocols,” said Segura.

“This in practice means that tourists who come to Costa Rica from Spain have a fluid transit when returning to their countries and, … fills us with great enthusiasm to continue traveling along the route of economic recovery of the tourism industry that is so important to the Costa Rican economy,” Segura added.

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But the new Spanish decision places restrictions, again, on travel between Costa Rica and Spain.

Currently, Spain is the second key European market for tourism in Costa Rica due to the fact that it issued 298,970 tourists by air to our country, according to data from the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) – Costa Rican Tourism Institute – for the 2015-2019 period.

Why?

Spain’s decision to once again place Costa Rica on the risk list is difficult to understand, given that Costa Rica’s handling of the pandemic has resulted in a drop of new daily cases, now averaging 400, down from over 1,000 weeks ago.

Costa Rica has accumulated 204,431 confirmed cases (59th of the 219 countries and territories) covid-19 since March of last year, of which 177,099 (87%) have recovered; and 2,800 deaths associated with the coronavirus, in a population of 5.1 million.

In the last 7 days (February 20 to 26) has confirmed 2,663 new cases (380 daily average) and 29 deaths.

Spain, as of February 26, has accumulated 3,188,553 confirmed cases (7th) and 69,142 associated death in a population of 46.7 million.

According to Worldometer, Spain has 68,180 reported cases per 1M population, while Costa Rica 39,874.

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