(QCOSTARICA) Travelers who are not citizens of countries authorized to fly to Costa Rica for now, such as U.S. citizens, will be able to enter Costa Rica meeting the requirements set out on Tuesday (July 28) by the Dirección General de Migración de Extranjería (DGME) – Costa Rica’s immigration service.
Starting August 1, when the country’s air borders are reopened to international tourists from Canada, European Union, and the United Kingdom, other nationalities will also be allowed entry but they will have to comply with different rules.
Thus, to enter the country, residents or citizens from Canada, the European Union and the United Kingdom must undergo a COVID-19 test and have a negative result 48 hours before coming, in addition to purchasing travel insurance from Costa Rica’s State insurer, the Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS), that covers eventualities if they require quarantine or medical expenses, as explained by Gustavo Segura, Minister of Tourism last week.
Meanwhile, visitors (residents or citizens) from other countries, in addition to these rules, must show that they remained at least 14 days without symptoms of the coronavirus in any of the authorized countries even though they normally live in another country.
According to information provided by the DGME on Tuesday, for example, a U.S. citizen can travel to Canada, the UK (England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland) or any of the Schengen area countries (Schengen area countries. Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland) and then come to Costa Rica.
The requirement is that they must have been in one of the authorized countries for at least 14 days and coronavirus symptom-free before flying to the San Jose (SJO) or Liberia (LIR) airports.
Immigration made it clear that a traveler cannot simply make a stop in an authorized country and then pretend to fly to Costa Rica.
This specific detail, it warned, will be reviewed by the Immigration Officer at the time of entry, and if it is determined that the passenger only made a stopover, the officer may reject entry (be it a tourist or a resident foreigner) and would have to leave the country/
Of course, the DGME will periodically review the list of nationals from which flights would be authorized, just as the European Union does.
“Every two weeks the international epidemiological situation will be reviewed by COVID-19 to assess the list of countries and territories from which flights will be received,” the entity said in verbatim.
The complication for U.S. citizens is that, until July 31, the UK, Canada (save for traveling for a purpose other than tourism), and the European Union has its borders closed to them. See the IATA COVID-19 Travel Regulations Map.
In addition, repatriation flights will continue to be carried out from any other country outside the index of countries that will have commercial flights. Where these types of transfers are most carried out are Central American countries and the United States.
In the case of non-essential private flights, the immigration authority clarified that they can arrive from the permitted countries bringing nationalities of the authorized countries or other nationals who show 14 days of stay in any of those nations with the green light.
Any tourist, regardless of their nationality, does have an obligation to purchase travel insurance for medical expenses of at least US$20,000 and isolation (lodging) expenses of at least US$4,000 that can only be purchased from the INS, immigration clarified.
No other policy will be accepted at this time. Travelers with another type of insurance will still have to buy the INS policy on arrival in Costa Rica.
Regarding the cost of the INS insurance, the DGME clarified in the document that it varies according to the passenger’s health conditions (their age, for example), days of stay or if the purchase is individual or family.
“As an example, travel insurance for a 30-year-old passenger who will visit Costa Rica for two weeks has an approximate cost of US$280,” said the immigration service.
Costa Ricans and foreigners residing in Costa Rica should NOT buy this insurance.
The Health Pass
Upon arrival, tourists and foreigners residing in the country will fill out the digital form called Pase de Salud (Health Pass) which will be available at the address https://salud.go.cr
This form will make distinctions between tourists, Costa Ricans, and foreigners with legal residence. The Health Pass will ask the passenger “Do you live in Costa Rica?”
If the answer is no, the passenger is assumed to be a tourist and a specific questions section will open. If the answer is yes, it is assumed that you are Costa Rican or a foreign resident and will answer other questions.
Tourists who successfully complete the Health Pass will receive a green check and an alphanumeric code (numbers and letters). Without this code, the Immigration officer will not be able to locate them in the system and manage their entry.
However, Ticos and foreigner residents in Costa Rica will undergo a medical evaluation upon arrival in the country regardless if they have no symptoms related to COVID-19 or exposed to the virus based on their response.