(QTRAVEL) Until August 1. 2020, entry requirements permit only Costa Rican citizens, Costa Rican residents who departed Costa Rica PRIOR to March 24, those whose residency is in process who departed Costa Rica PRIOR to March 24, minor children of Costa Rican citizens, and foreign diplomats will be able to enter Costa Rica.
This restriction applies to land, sea, and air arrivals. Aircrews will not be subject to this restriction, and a separate protocol has been negotiated for commercial truck drivers at land borders.
Health Minister Salas stated that as of August 1, only foreigners from countries that have “controlled the spread of the coronavirus” will be allowed to enter Costa Rica. This policy has not yet been adopted; nor did he specify which countries these would be
- Any foreigner resident in Costa Rica who left Costa Rica on March 24 or later – or who will leave shortly – will not be allowed to return to Costa Rica while border restrictions are in effect. Entering the country illegally will leade to an automatic loss of their legal resident status, but they will not have to begin the residency process again once the emergency is lifted.
- Tourist stays in Costa Rica are normally limited to 90 days, but under the current COVID border restrictions, any foreigner who entered Costa Rica after December 17, 2019, for tourism purposes has been granted an automatic extension of stay until November 18, 2020.
- Driving privileges for tourists who entered Costa Rica after December 17 have also been extended.
- Currently, only the airport in San Jose – the Juan Santamaria International airport (SJO) – is receiving international flights, and has protocols in place to deal with suspected COVID cases.
- Puerto Caldera, the main commercial port on the Pacific side of Costa Rica, has also established a protocol for suspected COVID-19 cases
- Anyone arriving in Costa Rica from another country must self-quarantine for 14 days. Any arrival displaying COVID-related symptoms is being tested at the airport and the Ministry of Health is following up with all quarantining individuals.
- The Ministry of Health has established definitions of risk for COVID-19 infection and guidance for the prevention of the spread of the virus that reflect World Health Organization guidelines.
- An “Epidemiological Form” must be completed before departure for Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 cases and has imposed “Orange Alerts” for various districts and cantones based on outbreaks, which carry stricter restrictions. For a full list and map of districts see here.
As of June 27, masks are required in many public places, including public transport, restaurants, banks, and theaters and as of July 2 masks are required in retail stores.
The Q has undertaken to bring you the most relevant, up-to-date, and reliable information on the pandemic in English. Do not be misinformed by unreputable sources, social media posts, and hearsay.