QCOSTARICA – Unless you must absolutely travel out of the country during these times, Costa Rica’s Minister of Health is asking to put off any unnecessary travel at this time.
“People who have to travel and can postpone it, do it, because new variants have emerged that can be more aggressive. But if they have to travel, they must do so with all the protocols,” were the words of Health Minister Dr. Daniel Salas last March 16.
This is due to the various countries experiencing a third and strong wave of covid-19 and, travel at this time means exposing oneself, would also increase the risk of bringing variants back to Costa Rica.
If despite the words of Dr. Salas, you are still considering leaving the country, taking advantage of the days off work for Semana Santa, or later, we remind you of some of the basics that you will find on departure from the Juan Santamaría international airport terminal in San Jose (SJO) and the Daniel Oduber terminal in Liberia, Guanacaste (LIR).
Since the resumption of international flights on August 1, Costa Rica connects with 29 destinations around the world.
The pandemic transformed the entire operating dynamics at airports and you must be prepared to comply with the new health regulations because traveling outside the country may not become as pleasant as before the pandemic.
One of the most important tasks that you must complete in your travel plan is to check if the country to which you will go requires a negative test for covid-19, and what type of test.
In Costa Rica, private laboratories are already able to do antigen testing and RT-PCR (polymerase chain reaction).
Countries like the United States and the Netherlands, for example, accept either within 72 hours (3 days for the US) of the flight. Canada, United Kingdom and Spain, on the other hand, are some of the countries that only accept the PCR test.
This PCR is more expensive and results are typically the next day at the earlier, while antigen tests, not only being less expensive but can provide results within one hour.
The Liberia airport announced that it is now providing antigen and PCR testing on site, while the San Jose airport will be doing so soon, according to the managers of the airports.
The lab results, printed or in digital format, must be presented to the airline before boarding.
- Though it seems banal to arrive at the airport, in these times when there are few flights and a minimal number of passengers, at 3 hours prior to your flight, it is recommended that you do, to allow enough time in the event there are problems with your test and other travel documents. In the case of flying out of Liberia and getting tested at the airport, Coriport recommends at least 4 hours prior to flight.
- Always wear a mask.
- If you do not have luggage and have already checked in online or at the self-check-in stations, go directly to the Immigration/police checkpoint.
- In your carry-on, only containers of alcohol gel up to 354 ml are permitted.
- For the rest of the liquids, the maximum allowed is 100 ml.
The Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) posted on this site all the information related to travel requirements to the United States.
Unlike prior to covid-19, only passengers traveling are permitted entry to the departures platform at the San Jose airport. Security will check for passports and may ask for proof of your digital ticket. A little more relaxed at the Liberia airport, but best to avoid having an entourage accompany you for your leaving the country.
At the boarding gates
- You will find blocked areas in seats and rows to respect physical distance.
- The boarding process will be in groups of ten passengers. During this process you must respect distancing and will scan the boarding pass on your own.
- For purchases at the San Jose airport, Aeris established a non-face-to-face shopping platform called DÙ. Among the shops, you will find are: Britt Café Bakery, Britt Shop Costa Rica and IMAS Duty Free shops.
- Product tasting is not allowed in stores.
- Payment, ideally, should be made with contactless payment.
- In the VIP lounges, there will only be packaged food, and the buffet is no longer available.
Try to enjoy your trip, but above all to make it a safe trip.