Rico’s TICO Bull – A reader sent an email about the new U.S. states that are allowed entry into Costa Rica as announced Thursday by Tourism Minister, Gustavo Seguro and in the near future.
“I doubt very much that the heads making this decision are looking at it logically,” states the email.
The statement is based on the misassumption that (as it was communicated) officials in Costa Rica were studying the most recent data (infections per 100,000) as a way to monitor what states to include for entry into Costa Rica.
As it is pointed out, there are states with lower per 100,000 case counts (as at August 28, 2020) of those authorized, such as Ohio with a case count of 1,017 per 100,000, while Maryland has a case count of 1,763, Massachusetts 1,844, Virginia 1,366, Pennsylvania 1,062 and Washington DC 1,953.
Colorado is the only in the group of the approved six states with the lowest case count of 985.
The reality is that I doubt very much that the decision is based on the numbers. What I see is a pattern.
All the states, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine announced last week, and yesterday’s Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts (with the exception of Colorado) are all close the two main airports that shuttle a large part of Americans to Costa Rica, JFK, and Newark (EWR); and to a lesser part Baltimore’s Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), Philadelphia’s International airport (PHL), and Washington DC’s Dulles (IAD).
In my opinion, it is not about the coronavirus numbers, it’s about the much-needed tourist dollars.
With that, I expect an announcement in the coming days, that the states of California, Texas and Florida, will get the green light, perhaps for flights as early as October 1.
These three states, especially Texas and Florida, had pre-pandemic, multiple airlines and flights daily into Costa Rica, both the San Jose (SJO) and Liberia (LIR) international airports.
In addition, many of the airports in California, Texas, Florida and New York are a hub for flights from approved countries such as Japan, China, Australia, and European nations to Costa Rica, which goes in hand with the Thursday’s announcement allowing transfers or stopovers from the United States, “as long as they do not leave the airport”.
Although the Minister’s stopover comments referred to “tourists from authorized states” we can foresee that it will when all the details of the new measures are provided, include also tourists from authorized countries.
Also changed was extending the PCR tests an extra 24 hours to 72 hours prior to travel.
Also, Costa Rica will now allow the arrival on private flights of citizens originating from “unauthorized places”.
As of September 1, private flights from the United States will also be allowed to enter the country, “given that due to their size and nature they have a much lower epidemiological risk” under the same requirements (passport, PCR test, travel insurance, completed health form) with the prior approval from the Ministry of Health and the General Directorate of Immigration.
Among the reasons for admissibility are investment analysis, property in Costa Rica; humanitarian reasons; etc.
Another is the allowing of the entry of private yachts in the marinas of Golfito, Los Sueños, Pez Vela, Banana Bay, and Papagayo.