Pre-coronavirus, Costa Rica was a popular tourist destination for Americans, but tourism in the Central American country – just like the vast majority of other countries in the world – has been hit very hard by the pandemic.
Some Americans have still been able and willing to travel there during the pandemic, but it’s important to be aware of the entry requirements and the risks of traveling abroad amid the pandemic.
Can I Travel to Costa Rica?
At the moment, it is possible for Americans to travel to Costa Rica, but you must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR swab test that was carried out up to 72 hours before your flight. This rule has been in place since the start of November.
It must be a swab test; a negative anti-body test won’t be accepted and you will be denied entry into the country.
Only people who have already had COVID-19 and have made a full recovery are exempt from this requirement and can enter Costa Rica without providing proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR swab test. But, you must ensure that you have proof that you previously contracted coronavirus and are currently fit.
Aside from the above-mentioned requirements, you must complete a digital Health Pass form up to 48 hours before boarding your flight and purchase health insurance that’s valid in Costa Rica and provides cover for COVID-19 treatment.
Restrictions in Costa Rica
In Costa Rica, you must wear a face mask or other type of face covering in public areas, such as the airport, stores, and when using public transport. You can only remove your face covering in a café or restaurant while you’re eating.
You should also keep a 2 meter distance from other people whenever possible, and it’s strongly advisable to pay with card instead of cash to reduce your chances of contracting the virus while abroad.
At some points of the pandemic, the Costa Rican government mandated early closing hours for restaurants and stores, and beaches. These restrictions aren’t currently in place, but the government may choose to reimplement them at short notice, so be sure to stay up to date with local guidelines for the duration of your trip.
To board your return flight, you will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR swab test that was carried out up to three days before your flight. Without this, you won’t be allowed to board your flight and return to the US.
If you test positive in this test, you should self-isolate and take a new test once you stop showing systems. If the test is negative, you can then return home within 72 hours (after this period has elapsed you’ll need to take another PCR swab test.)
Should I Travel?
While it’s currently possible to book a holiday to Costa Rica, you should keep in mind that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are advising Americans to avoid all non-essential travel to the country.
This is because, according to the CDC, traveling abroad puts you at an increased risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19, even with the strict health protocols and social distancing measures in place in airports and onboard passenger aircraft.
If you choose to travel to Costa Rica or any destination outside of the US, strongly consider purchasing travel insurance that covers things like cancellation, interruption and medical.
A Quick Summary
- It’s currently possible for Americans to travel to Costa Rica, but there are a few requirements that must be met.
- You must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR swab test that was carried out up to 72 hours before your flight.
- Alternatively, you can provide proof that you previously had COVID-19 and successfully fought it off.
- You will also need to purchase health insurance that is valid in Costa Rica and complete a health declaration form.
- Although it’s possible to travel to Costa Rica, you should keep in mind that the CDC is advising Americans to avoid all non-essential travel to the country.