(QCOSTARICA) The United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) advises Americans not to travel to Costa Rica unless it is “essential travel.” This, due to the high risk of contagion of COVID-19.
The CDC places Costa Rica at a level 3 (out of three): 1, means that you have to be vigilant; 2, that you have to be alert and take greater measures, and 3 is a warning not to fly unless it is essential.
“Essential trips include providing humanitarian aid, medical reasons or family emergencies,” cites the document, which has been in force since last August 6, and remained so with the opening of flights between the two countries, this September.
The CDC indicates that for people with risk factors, it is best to postpone the visit altogether while the situation does not change, even when the trip is essential.
The report points out that the risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 in Costa Rica is high and that, if the person becomes ill and needs medical attention, resources may be limited.
If travel cannot be avoided, the CDC recommends purchasing good health insurance ahead of time and staying in contact with your primary care physician in the United States.
Costa Rica not being singled out
Costa Rica is not the only country that the CDC places in this category, the measure is taken for most countries of the 209 other countries or territories around the world where the recommendation is not to fly unless the trip is necessary.
In contrast, there are four places at level 1, where people are asked to simply be vigilant, but are told that they can travel without taking extra precautions: they are New Zealand, Fiji, Thailand, and Cambodia.
For these places, those who have some type of risk factor are asked to contact their doctor and discuss what steps they should take while out of their country.
And six countries are at level 2, which means that the risk of infection is moderate: Mongolia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Curacao, Malaysia, Mariana Islands, and Bermuda.
On these sites, the recommendation not to take non-essential trips is only for those with risk factors.
The CDC warns that if you (American) get sick with COVID-19 (or test positive for COVID-19, even if you have no symptoms) while abroad, you may be isolated or not be permitted to return to the United States until you have recovered fully from your illness.
If you get exposed to a person with COVID-19 while abroad, you may be quarantined or not be permitted to return to the United States until 14 days after your last exposure.
If you travel:
- Avoid close contact by staying at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) away from anyone who is not from your household.
- Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when in public settings.
- Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Do not travel if you are sick.