QCOSTARICA – Once again, the Juan Santamaría International – San Jose airport – terminal was packed Wednesday afternoon, with the arrival of some 14,000 passengers.
This occurs in the same week that COVID-19 cases show the most significant increases since the pandemic began, on Wednesday the Ministry of Health reporting a record number of new cases for a single day, 6,525 and two days following a U.S. travel advisory not to travel to Costa Rica.
Photos sent to Teletica news by the lawyer Federico Campos, who arrived in the country this afternoon, show long lines of passengers waiting for immigration and pointed out that there was a slow process to receive them.
The scene Wednesday has been repeated several times since the start of the high tourist season, many claiming lack of immigration officials to handle the volume of incoming visitors.
To enter Costa Rica, foreigners do not require a negative PCR test, but must complete the “Health Pass” (https://salud.go.cr) which generates a QR code which must be presented on arrival.
Foreigners entering Costa Rica must have travel insurance to cover covid-19 expenses and accommodation valid for the period of their intended stay. This does not apply to foreigners with a covid-19 vaccination certificate (in English or Spanish), showing that they were fully vaccinated at least 14 days before arrival. Vaccines accepted are AstraZeneca, Covaxin, Janssen, Moderna, Pfizer/Biontech, Sinopharm and Sinovac.
In a statement issued this afternoon, Costa Rica’s immigration service, the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (DGME) indicated that half of the 14,000 passengers arrived within a period of three hours, between 1 pm and 4 pm.
“As of February 1, the Professional Immigration Police will reinforce the airports with the officers who have just finished the basic police course, that will help in the reinforcement of personnel at the airports,” the DGME said in the statement, in which it added that the attention of these airports requires coordination with Civil Aviation, ICT and Airport Police authorities, among others.