Saturday 4 February 2023

Reactivation of commercial flights would allow foreigner residents to travel without losing status

With the modification of the decree by the Ministry of Health foreigners with permanent residence, temporary residence, or special categories can fly out the country and return without affecting their immigration status.

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(QCOSTARICA) The resumption of commercial flights at the Juan Santamaría (SJO) airport on August 1 brings other changes, among them, foreigner residents in Costa Rica can leave the country and return without affecting their immigration status.

Ready to receive travelers at the Juan Santamaria international airport in San Jose, Costa Rica

Since March 24, the government decreed that foreigners with residence, refugee status or asylum in Costa Rica would lose that status if they left the country and then tried to return.

Decree 42256-MGP-S stipulates that foreigners with permanent residence, temporary residence, or special categories can leave the country but not enter the national territory until the reopening of borders. Likewise, foreigners who had left would lose that status if they entered illegally.

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This change starts on August 1 with the modification of the decree by the Ministry of Health, which is currently working on the new text, reported the Ministry’s press office.

“Clearly, this modification must be ready prior to enabling the flights,” it said.

Staring on August 1, flights to and from the countries of the European Union (Schengen Area Countries), the United Kingdom, and Canada will be reactivated. At first to a maximum of five flights a week.

With the change, if a foreign resident decided to fly out of Costa Rica and then return, they would not lose their status, provided they do so by the authorized route, that is, the airports (for now) and from the authorized countries.

The United States is excluded, for now, from the countries authorized to travel to Costa Rica.

The General Directorate of Civil Aviation also confirmed that they expect changes in the terms of the current restriction once Health and that entity conclude their analyzes.

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Upon return the country, legal foreign residents would be required to maintain 14-day isolation at home; just as Costa Ricans are already ordered to enter the country.

Like all those who enter through the air terminal, they will have to undergo a new protocol that includes taking their temperature when they get off the plane, disinfecting shoes using sanitizing mats, and physically distancing themselves in the various areas. And also wear a mask and respect all other measures of the health protocol. See the video by the SJO airport here.

In the case of tourists, these have other additional regulations defined:

  • Fill out a digital epidemiological form.
  • Get a covid-19 test and have a negative result 48 hours before entering Costa Rica.
  • Purchase travel insurance that covers eventualities of lodging in the face of the need for quarantine or medical expenses.
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