Saturday 27 May 2023

Lufthansa increases flights to Costa Rica; Germany to require PCR tests on all flight arrivals

The German flag carrier will increase frequencies from Frankfurt, from three to five, as of March 28, the ICT reported; meanwhile, Germany Gwill require everyone entering the country by plane to undergo a coronavirus test starting on Sunday, March 28.

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27 May 2023 - At The Banks - Source: BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – Germany’s flag carrier airline Lufthansa will increase its frequency of weekly flights to Costa Rica from three to five for a month, connecting the city of Frankfurt with the San Jose international airport (SJO).

This was reported by the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) –  Costa Rican Tourism Board, in a statement made on Friday, in which it details that the measure will be applied as of this Sunday, March 28.

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Hermes Navarro, head of ICT Investment Attraction, explained that the airline’s measure is based on an increase in reservations for travel to Costa Rica.

“… despite the fact that the German government designated certain holiday destinations in Europe as ‘safe corridors’, the increase in bookings also reached our country and hence the decision taken by Lufthansa to increase the frequency of flights,” emphasized the ICT official.

Starting this March 28, Lufthansa’s will operate flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, departing from Germany at 1:40 pm local time, and arriving in Costa Rican soil at 5:50 pm; the turn around flight leaves Costa Rica at 7:35 pm and arrive in Frankfurt at 3:00 am German time.

The airline will use the Airbus A340-300, configured for 279 passengers, 30 in business class, 28 in premium, and 221 in economy.

Following Costa Rica’s reopening of arrivals by air, Lufthansa returned to Costa Rica on October 24 with two weekly flights, adding a third and now to five.

In 2019, prior to the pandemic, a total of 80,580 Germans traveled to Costa Rica, according to ICT reports. Of these, 67,357 did so by air, making Germany, in that year, the third source of European visitors to the country by air, only behind the United Kingdom and France.

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In 2020, the number of German citizens entering the country dropped to 28,821, of which 23,845 arrived by air.

Germany to require COVID tests on all flight arrivals

The day prior to the ICT announcement (Thursday, March 25), the German Health Ministry announced that people flying into Germany will be required to undergo coronavirus testing as of midnight (2300 UTC) on Sunday, March 28.

What are the new rules?

  • Travelers will be required to take a COVID test before departure, regardless of the coronavirus risk level in their country of origin.
  • Airlines will only be allowed to let passengers on board with proof of a negative COVID test.
  • Travelers will have to pay for the tests themselves. PCR tests, and approved rapid tests will be accepted.
  • Airline crews are exempt
  • Anyone who tests positive will be required to quarantine according to local rules at their own cost.
  • The testing requirements are expected to last until mid-May.
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The old rules had required tests only from travelers coming from high-risk areas. Now, travelers coming from popular vacation destinations with lower case numbers, like Costa Rica, will need a negative test.

Traveling to Germany? reported on March 26, Germany is in a strict lockdown. Travel has not been banned entirely, but an appeal issued to refrain from non-essential trips. The borders remain open. Here’s what you need to know about Germany’s entry regulations. What you need to know about Germany’s coronavirus restrictions.

Traveling to Costa Rica?

Costa Rica currently only requires for entry by air or sea the completion of a Health Pass and proof of travel insurance, purchased internationally or from a carrier in Costa Rica, to cover medical and lodging expenses, for the duration of the intended stay.

Starting on April 5, the same arrival by air and sea requirements apply for visitors entering the country by land.

Costa Rica does not require a COVID test to leave the country by air, sea or land, except for travel to Nicaragua, a requirement by the neighboring country for entry.

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