Friday 2 December 2022

Tourists will NOT be required to test, confirms Minister of Tourism

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2 December 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – Sometime this week we can expect an announcement of changes to the sanitary measures, mostly the vehicular restrictions, possibly a relaxation on the hours for commercial operations, more beach time, and entry requirements into the country.

Land, air, and marine entry to Costa Rica is open for all countries without the need for PCR testing

It’s been weeks since the current measures were announced.

What will not be in the announcement that would take effect on July 12, are plans to return to the requirement of the negative PCR test in tourists, confirmed Gustavo Segura, Minister of Tourism.

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Speaking to CRHoy.com, the minister said that it would be an unnecessary measure due to the low level of Covid-19 infections among tourists.

The Minister was emphatic that the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) – Costa Rican Tourism Institute – ruled against the request made by the National Medical Union (Unión Médica Nacional) for international tourists entering the national territory to require a negative PCR test to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, especially for the new Delta variant.

“International tourism is a strategy of relatively low epidemiological risk. The measure (covid testing) is not convenient to reactivate a very battered economy, especially in coastal and rural areas. To return to a requirement that does not guarantee that a tourist does not come with contagion would be to put an obstacle to one of the few instruments to reactivate the economy,” Segura said.

“We don’t need to add more requirements,” the Minister added.

The suggestion by the national medical sector was also met with opposition from both airlines and the Cámara Nacional de Turismo (CANATUR) and the Chamber of Hotels (Cámara de Hoteles).

For his part, the president of CANATUD, Rubén Acón stated: “The virus is not prevented by requesting tests”.

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PCR testing as an entry requirement was introduced in August 2020, when Costa Rica reopened its borders. On October 26, it did away with the PCR testing for entering or leaving the country.

The current requirements for entry into Costa Rica are (from the official ICT website), in addition to complying with all applicable visa requirements (https://migracion.go.cr/Paginas/Visas.aspx):

    • Completing the HEALTH PASS online form available at https://salud.go.cr within 72 hours prior to departure. One form must be completed per person, including minors, without exception.
    • Acquiring medical insurance. Tourists must acquire mandatory travel insurance that covers lodging in the event of quarantine as well as medical expenses due to contracting COVID-19. If the tourist has already been vaccinated, this does not exempt them from this requirement, and they must acquire an insurance policy as described. This requirement remains in force.The insurance policy may be obtained from any international insurance company that meets the following requirements:
      1. Valid for the entire stay in Costa Rica (coverage dates).
      2. US$50,000  for medical expenses, including those from COVID-19.
      3. US$2,000 for lodging expenses in the event of COVID-19 quarantine.

      Tourists can also opt for any of the following Costa Rican insurance companies, which sell products that are registered and authorized by the Office of the Superintendent General of Insurance of Costa Rica.
      – INS: https://www.grupoins.com/seguros-para-viajero/seguro-viajero-ingreso-costa-rica/
      – Sagicor: https://tiendasagicor.com/en/
      – BlueCross BlueShield: https://www.bluecrossblueshieldcr.com/rod

Costa Rica is allowing entry at land border crossings by tourists. International arrivals by air are only possible on international private or commercial flights landing in Juan Santamaría International Airport or Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport. Marine entry may be done by yachts or sailboats, exclusively at the marinas of Golfito, Los Sueños, Pez Vela, Banana Bar and Papagayo.

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