Saturday 25 September 2021

The US improves travel alerts for Central America; Not Costa Rica and Nicaragua

Costa Rica remains under maximum (red) travel alert level 4 due to crime and COVID-19

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QCOSTARICA – The United States has eased travel advisories for most Central American countries, with the exception of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, according to information recently updated by the State Department.

This according to the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic in each country and the security conditions they offer for tourists.

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The most benefited by the change was El Salvador, whose alert drops to level 2, “Exercise Increased Caution” due to crime and COVID-19.

Belize is also raised to level 2 due to crime.

Honduras and Guatemala improved, going from category 4 to 3: ” Reconsider Travel” due to crime and COVID-19.

Panama is also at level 3, after improving its numbers with respect to the Covid-19 pandemic.

For Costa Rica and Nicaragua, there was no improvement in the alert level, both countries continue with maximum alert level 4: “Do Not Travel” set on April 20, 2021.

For Costa Rica, the red alert is due to crime and COVID-19; Nicaragua due to limited healthcare availability and arbitrary enforcement of laws and crime.

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Despite being in this category, this warning does not influence much on American travelers heading for Costa Rica.

According to the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) – tourism board – numbers more than 72,000 visitors arrive in May. Though that number is about 73% of the tourist arrival levels of 2019 for the same period. In May 2020, Costa Rica’s borders were closed.

“I doubt very much that the recommendations are followed to the letter, since there is a general feeling of ‘revenge tourism’ and Americans are very liberal. I have had the opportunity to speak with many tourists from there and it gives me the impression that they are tired of being locked up,” said Roger Sans, president of the South Caribbean Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, back April, when the United States upgraded Costa Rica to level 4.


  • 1. Blue – Excercise normal precautions
  • 2. Yellow – Excercise increased caution
  • 3. Orange – Reconsider travel
  • 4. Red – Do not travel
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More details on U.S. travel advisories can be found here.

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