(QCOSTARICA) The U.S. Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica, has posted the latest information on repatriation flights to and from the United States and Costa Rica for August.
The Embassy says it has partnered with United Airlines to offer three commercial repatriation flights each week for U.S. citizens and residents from Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO) to Houston, Texas (IAH).
These flights will take place on Monday, Thursday, and Friday through August 31. There will be no flights from Daniel Oduber Quiros Airport in Liberia during August. Visit www.united.com for details on pricing and flight times.
Spirit Airlines is offering a commercial repatriation flight on Friday, August 7. The flight will depart SJO Airport in San José, Costa Rica and arrive at FLL Airport in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Visit www.spirit.com for flight times and ticket prices.
Spirit and United currently requires all passengers to wear face coverings during the check-in process and for the duration of the flight. Health regulations for boarding the United and Spirit flights will be managed according to Costa Rica Ministry of Health guidelines.
At this time that includes medical personnel monitoring passenger lines for people with COVID-19 symptoms and asking passengers with symptoms to self-identify.
Health regulations for arrival at Houston’s IAH airport are managed by the airport and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) under guidance from CDC and state health officials.
At this time there are no specific measures in place at IAH or FLL. Check with the airport and CBP websites for updates at https://www.fly2houston.com/iah/overview/, https://www.broward.org/Airport/Pages/default.aspx, and https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/coronavirus.
All passengers will be subject to Costa Rica immigration and customs laws and Airline policies. The U.S. Embassy is not able to intervene if people are stopped for violations or do not meet airline regulations. U.S. Citizens must have valid passports to enter the United States.
If you do not have a valid U.S. passport, please email ACSsanjose@state.gov immediately to apply for an Emergency Passport. Foreign national passengers must possess an official travel document from their country of nationality and permission to approach a United States port of entry such as a legal permanent resident card, U.S. visa, or Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) pre-approval. For more information on U.S. entry follow this link: https://www.cbp.gov/travel.
For information on requesting an emergency visa application appointment call 4000-1976, or visit: www.ustraveldocs.com/cr/cr-niv-expeditedappointment.asp.
Costa Rica Residents
From the United States: Foreign nationals with legal residency (temporary or permanent), estancias, special categories, applications in progress, spouses of Costa Rican nationals, parents of minor Costa Rican children who entered under the exceptions, etc., that depart the country after March 25th will NOT BE ALLOWED to re-enter until the borders fully reopen.
This means that for example a U.S. national who has Costa Rican residency cannot fly back to the US and return a few weeks later.
From authorized countries: Legal residents (temporary or permanent), people with estancias and special Categories who have an entry impediment (this was issued at the time of departure from Costa Rica if after March 25), may be allowed back if they come from one of the authorized countries (Canada, the European Union and the United Kingdon) as long as they have been in there for at least 14 days prior to travel to Costa Rica.
For example, a U.S. citizen who travels to Canada, the European Union (Schengen visa countries) or the UK and stays for at least 14 days prior to travel to Costa Rica, can enter. Currently, direct commercial flights scheduled to Costa Rica from Europe are from Spain, France, England, Switzerland, and Holland.
They will be required to present:
- Valid DIMEX (residency) card.
- Proof that their respective Caja (social security) is up to date.
- Complete the epidemiological form (Health Pass).
- Proof of having been in Canada, the EU or the UK for the past 14 days, ie passport stamp of entry.
- Upon arrival in Costa Rica, be subject to a 14-day quarantine at home.
No exceptions have been made for legal residents with businesses or homes in Costa Rica. No exceptions have been made for humanitarian reasons either.
These guidelines will be reviewed again on August 31st, 2020.
One of the documents Immigration itself has published clearly states that “per the Constitution, it is not possible to reject the entry of Costa Rican nationals and residents into Costa Rica”.