Travel to Costa Rica during Covid-19: what you need to know before you go


(CNN) – If you are planning a trip to Costa Rica, here is what you need to know and expect if you want to visit during the global coronavirus pandemic.

The basics

Costa Rica reopened to tourism in November. The country has eased restrictions in recent weeks and is considering creating a digital nomad visa to attract visitors who will make lasting contributions to the local economy.

What is offered

Costa Rica is known for its “pura vida” (pure life) and apart from the pandemic, life is still pure here. This is a country for nature lovers, with a Caribbean and peaceful coastline, and a jungle that covers about a quarter of the country. Whether you’re here for the cloud forests, volcanoes, or incredible nature and wildlife, your shoulders will definitely drop a few inches.

Who can go

Everyone. Costa Rica reopened, including for tourism, on November 1, 2020. However, of course, there are restrictions. And the standard visa regulations still apply.

What are the restrictions?

There is no need for a negative PCR test as there was initially. All passengers must complete a Health Pass before traveling. The website provides a QR code that you must show upon arrival.

Tourists traveling to Costa Rica must have valid travel insurance covering possible quarantine accommodation up to $ 2,000 and medical expenses of at least $ 50,000 due to Covid-19. This must be accompanied by a certificate in English or Spanish, indicating the name of the insured, the dates of coverage and the guarantees stipulated above.

If you can’t get a policy that includes quarantine insurance, there are insurer suggestions on the Health Pass website.

Costa Rican residents and citizens may be subject to self-isolation upon arrival.

Land borders are closed to non-residents, and residents crossing over land must be quarantined for 14 days upon arrival.

What is the Covid situation?

Costa Rica has seen 206,000 cases and fewer than 3,000 deaths during the pandemic. Along with Mexico, it was the first country to receive vaccines in December. So far about 150,000 people have been vaccinated.

What can visitors expect?

Things are returning to relative normality. National parks and beaches are open, the latter until 6 pm. Restaurants and bars have reopened, but clubs have not, and concerts and large groups are banned.

There is a nightly curfew from 11 pm to 5 am. Daytime driving restrictions, which were in effect previously, have ended (except in capital San José, where restrictions to reduce congestion are the norm anyway).

In an attempt to recover, the country is planning to roll out one-year visas for digital nomads, with the possibility of renewal for one more year. There is currently a 90 day limit for tourist stays.

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CNN’s Julia Buckley contributed to this report.

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