Costa Rica and the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Last Updated: May 10, 2022

The novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has continued to be a hot topic these days for travelers. We’ve had many readers and clients inquire about how Costa Rica is dealing with the Coronavirus, if there are any travel restrictions, and whether they should modify their plans. In this post, we will give you as much information as possible about the situation in Costa Rica along with links to official government websites and announcements so that you can ensure you have the most accurate and up-to-date news. 

Current Situation

Is Travel Allowed?

Yes, on August 1, 2020 Costa Rica’s international airports reopened to tourists from some countries. Since November 1, 2020, there has been no travel ban. Residents from all countries and all US states can now enter Costa Rica by land, air, or sea (land borders reopened April 5, 2021).  

A COVID test is not required to enter Costa Rica.

As of April 1, 2022 there are no longer any Covid related entry requirements (e.g. insurance, health pass form, etc.) 

To get an idea of what to expect once you arrive, read our post, Traveling to Costa Rica During Covid-19: Entry Requirements, Protocols & What to Expect

Some countries like the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, etc. are requiring a negative Covid test before you fly back home. For a robust list of testing locations around Costa Rica, see our post, Where to Get a Covid-19 Test in Costa Rica

Newest COVID Stats

As of May 10, 2022, there have been 866,164 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Costa Rica, 841,683 people recovered, and 8,444 deceased, leaving 16,037 active cases within the population of roughly five million people. We update this post whenever new data is released (weekly). 

Recent Developments

  • On April 19, the US Department of State lowered its travel advisory for Costa Rica to level 2 (previously it was level 4). This lower level is now the same as it was before the pandemic.  
  • Trends: Costa Rica’s Covid cases had been steadily decreasing since late-January. In mid-April, daily cases began to slowly increase.
  • Latest Data: On May 10 there were 1,697 new cases countrywide.
  • Restrictions: Costa Rica’s new president (who took office May 8th) removed the mask mandate for indoor spaces. However there has been controversy over this action and an official decree has still not been published (as of May 10th). From our experience, most businesses are not requiring masks but we have heard that some still are.   
  • Vaccination Rate: As of May 10, 2022, 85.7% of Costa Rica’s population has had at least one Covid vaccine shot. 79.8% have two doses. 43.0% have received a third dose. You can read more in our post, Covid Vaccination Rates in Costa Rica

Costa Rica and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

About Coronavirus

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that typically cause respiratory infections. COVID-19 is the most recent addition to this group of viruses. We won’t go into detail about all of the COVID-19 symptoms here, but you can visit the World Health Organization’s website for more information. 

Costa Rica Cases of Coronavirus

Current Data

Currently (as of May 10) there have been 866,164 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Costa Rica, 841,683 recovered, and 8,444 deceased. The first fatality was recorded on March 18, 2020.

Of the deceased, 3,323 have been female and 5,121 have been male. The age range for those who have passed away spans from 0 to 103-years old. 

Geographically there are reported cases in every Costa Rican province. Active cases are spread throughout all of the country’s 82 cantons. The cantons of Alajuela, San Jose, and Heredia have the most active cases.

For the complete breakdown by canton, see the newest info-graphic shared on the Ministerio de Salud’s website here. This breakdown also includes the number of active and recovered cases in each canton as well as hospitalizations statistics. 

Quarantine Period

All individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are given a government issued health order to remain in their home, a hotel, or a vacation rental. Currently the length of quarantine is anywhere from 7 to 10-days (usually 7). Read our full article about testing positive for Covid-19 in Costa Rica for more details on the government’s process and to read the experiences of travelers who have tested positive themselves. 

First Cases in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s first cases were two individuals (a couple) who traveled from New York to Costa Rica on March 1, 2020 (both age 49). The man was in contact with someone who had the virus in the US before he traveled. He did not show any symptoms, but his wife began showing symptoms during their trip and then tested positive. Both fully recovered in March 2020, finished a 14-day quarantine, and were able to return home

Shortly after the couple was diagnosed, a doctor from Alajuela (male, age 54) who returned from Panama on February 22, 2020 started showing symptoms. More than 25 of the first Costa Rican citizens who tested positive were directly linked with that man.  

Where to Get Updates

Official announcements are published on the Ministry of Health News website. They also share information to their Facebook Page.

Travel Restrictions/Travel Ban

Tourists

Costa Rica closed its borders (land, air, and sea) to all foreign travelers between March 18 and July 31, 2020. A partial reopening for visitors from some countries began on August 1, 2020. More countries and many U.S. States were slowly added to the list. Since November 1, 2020, residents from all countries and all U.S. States are allowed to enter by air or sea. As of April 5, 2021, tourists have been able to enter through land borders as well. 

As of April 1, 2022 there are no Covid specific requirements to enter Costa Rica (insurance requirement and online health form have been eliminated). A quarantine period is not required for tourists when entering. COVID-19 tests are also not required to enter (since October 26, 2020). 

Read our post, Traveling to Costa Rica During Covid-19: Entry Requirements, Protocols & What to Expect for up-to-date information and specific protocols to expect throughout the country.

Citizens, Residents, and Relatives

All Costa Rican citizens and legal residents (those with permanent or temporary residency) are allowed to enter Costa Rica. Relatives with a direct relationship to a Costa Rican citizen are also able to enter. Read our article for the entry requirements for each category.  

How is Costa Rica Dealing with Coronavirus?

Overview

Costa Rican authorities have been very proactive in helping to prevent COVID-19 from spreading within the country. Social distancing and new sanitary practices are the biggest measures taking place countrywide.

Below are some of the specific actions that Costa Rica has taken during the pandemic. You might also like our post: Covid-Travel: What it is like in Costa Rica Right Now, which details what it is like to travel around the country and how locals and tourist are dealing with the situation. 

Specific Actions

Here are some notable actions taken:

• Since February, 2020 Costa Rica has had the proper laboratory test for diagnosing COVID-19. All government testing has been through INCIENSA, the country’s Center of Disease Investigation. For private testing options, see our post, Where to Get a Covid-19 Test in Costa Rica

• Hospitals as well as emergency services (like 911) have protocols in place to deal with patients showing or describing symptoms. Additionally, a dedicated COVID-19 hospital has been set up in the San Jose area. The public health system has also expanded its intensive care (ICU) bed capacity. 

A new telephone hotline (1322) was put in place that was dedicated to Coronavirus consultations. This number has now been eliminated. 911 remains available for urgent health situations and other emergencies. 

Campaigns by the government-run healthcare system (CCSS) are continuously informing the public of preventative techniques. They are delivering the information through television, radio, and social media.

The Ministry of Health issued new guidelines for businesses. These specified cleaning and sanitary procedures as well as occupancy limits.  

The Ministry of Health regulates the use of masks in public and commercial establishments, certain public spaces, transit options, etc. Costa Rica’s new president (who took office May 8) has said that masks are no longer required except for first-line workers and in hospitals, however the law has yet to be published. 

• Costa Rica has contracted with global pharmaceutical companies to supply the country with sufficient doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Most have been through Pfizer-BioNTech but some have come from AstraZeneca. 

• The public healthcare system is currently vaccinating the general population ages 5-years old and up. As of May 10, 2022, 85.7% of the population has had at least one Covid vaccine shot. 79.8% have received two doses and 43.0% have received a third dose. Read our article, Covid Vaccination Rates in Costa Rica, for more information. 

Costa Rica Ministry of Health Guidance Coronavirus
Guidance from the Ministry of Health on what to do now that COVID-19 is in Costa Rica

Reopening Measures

Like many countries, Costa Rica closed many businesses and public areas/services at the start of the pandemic. In late April, 2020, Costa Rican officials announced that countrywide restrictions would begin to be loosened gradually and on a trial basis.

This began as a four-phase plan. Each phase opened more businesses and services, while at the same time implementing strict sanitary guidelines. For example, restaurants were allowed to reopen at 50% capacity.

Three phases of the reopening plan were implemented but the fourth phase (originally scheduled for July, 2020) was postponed due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.

Instead of going forward with the fourth phase, the government has made individual adjustments to the measures at various times. For example, in June and July 2020, local tourism was encouraged with the reopening of hotels, beaches (for limited hours), and national parks. Officials have always stressed that restrictions may be put back into place if they see a rise in the number of cases. 

The original reopening measures announced by the Ministry of Health.

Current Measures  

Currently businesses can operate with normal hours. 

Masks are required in closed and/or indoor spaces (inside stores, theaters, malls, banks, and shared vehicles like vans, buses, etc.). This requirement was lifted by Costa Rica’s president on May 8th but the official decree has not been published (as of May 10). 

Events and activities are allowed without changes to normal occupancy limits. 

Current Vehicle Restrictions 

Driving curfews have been eliminated (as of March 7, 2022). 

Driving restrictions based on license plate number have been eliminated as of November 1, 2020 (except for in downtown San Jose where traffic control restrictions, based on license plate number, still exist). 

Note: Tourism related vehicles (e.g. shuttle vans/tour vans) as well as rental cars have always been exempt from any driving restrictions. 

Protecting Yourself

If you are coming to Costa Rica, consider official warnings from health officials on travel and self-care. Best practices include:

  • Regular and thorough hand washing (at least 20 seconds)
  • Disinfecting surfaces
  • Always covering the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.
  • Wearing a mask properly.
  • Avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing
  • Staying home at the first sign of symptoms

If you fit into the category of a high-risk individual, determine if travel to Costa Rica is necessary or should be postponed. According to the CDC’s website, people of high risk may be:

o Older adults
o People who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease

What If You Get Sick During Your Trip?

If someone comes down with symptoms of Coronavirus during their trip to Costa Rica, they can be tested for free at any public hospital (only when showing symptoms). For emergency situations use 911. 

An extensive network of private hospitals, clinics, and labs are also available for testing. Before arrival, you should notify them that you have symptoms. For information on private testing locations see our post, Where to Get a Covid-19 Test in Costa Rica

In addition, private urgent care facilities are available to provide more help. We received information from a local doctor who we trust about the process of what would happen. He said that Costa Rica has implemented international protocols for urgent care providers. If someone presents with symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection (sore throat, fever, coughing, sneezing, headaches), the doctor will evaluate them, and if necessary, report a positive case to INCIENSA (Costa Rica’s Center of Disease Investigation).

The person will be told to remain in isolation at his or her current location (hotel or vacation rental) so as not to potentially spread the virus. After this, the doctor will work with the Ministry of Health on how to proceed with the patient. They will only transport a patient to a higher grade care center like a hospital if they have acute respiratory distress and their vital signs are not stable.

These type of private urgent care facilities are located all around the country and basically all have English-speaking doctors. You can find them in Quepos/Manuel Antonio, Jaco, Tamarindo, Monteverde, La Fortuna, Samara, and many more towns that are popular for visitors.

What if I test positive for Covid before my departure flight home? 

If you test positive for Covid-19 after a test, you will be issued a sanitary order by the Costa Rican government directing you to quarantine. Usually a 7 day quarantine is issued but technically the quarantine period can be from 7 to 10 days. 

For much more about what happens in this scenario, read our post Testing Positive for Covid in Costa Rica.  

Conclusion

We hope this post will help you understand the current Coronavirus situation in Costa Rica. While not a fun topic, it is important to share all the details as they develop. Viewing this all from Costa Rica, we have been impressed with the government’s response.  You can read more about our experience living through the early part of the pandemic in Costa Rica here.  

We plan to update this post as often as needed until Coronavirus is under control worldwide. We hope everyone stays safe and doesn’t have to change their travel plans. If you do have to postpone, we hope that you’ll be able to visit soon!

Additional Resources

World Health Organization’s (WHO) – Latest Updates on COVID-19
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control – Latest Updates on COVID-19
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Information for Travel
Johns Hopkins – Map of confirmed cases worldwide
The Tico Times – English-language online newspaper in Costa Rica

Disclaimer: We are not experts in disease prevention or doctors and are not intending to give medical or other professional advice. If you’re unsure if you should travel to Costa Rica, consult the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and WHO (World Health Organization) websites for more information or seek the advice of a medical professional.

Last Updated: May 10, 2022

Are you hoping to visit Costa Rica soon? Here are some resources to help you plan:

Rental Car Discount – Looking for a rental car for your upcoming trip. Use our discount to save 10-20% and receive free extras like a second driver, cell phone, and more. 

Traveling to Costa Rica During Covid-19: Entry Requirements, Protocols & What to Expect – This post has all of the information you will need to know ahead of time. Includes what to expect for safety protocols at the airport, hotels, attractions, and more. 

Preflight Testing for Departing Costa Rica: Logistics and Tips – Do you need a negative Covid test to return to your home country? This article will summarize the requirements and give you tips to make the process as easy as possible.  

Packing for Costa Rica – Wondering what you need to pack for Costa Rica’s mountains vs. the beach? We’ve got it all covered in this post. Includes recommendations for rainy season travel as well.

Weather in Costa Rica – Learn about the different seasons and why you can’t rely on your phone’s weather App. for accurate info. Includes charts of past weather data to help you plan.

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267 Comments

  1. Thanks for the updates guys. Missing you all! I was supposed to come back to CR this week (have been spending a few months back in the states) and now it looks like I may be canceling for now. Not happy about it, but trying to be safe.

  2. Thanks for the update. We are coming for our first trip to CR in about a month. No way we’re missing out on coming! Thanks for all your great info….

  3. Great update, thanks. We are retiring to Costa Rica in mid September and hope that the situation by then has relaxed. At the moment our plans stay as they are. The car is already on it’s way by boat. Pura Vida

  4. Thanks SO much for sharing such comprehensive information! My family and I will be heading to Costa Rica on the 18th, so I will definitely be keeping an eye on this for updates.

  5. Thanks for the useful info; I’m looking forward to my visit in a few weeks. I will feel safer in Costa Rica than in the U.S., given the ease of outdoor living and less crowded spaces!

  6. Thank you for this. It is helping us with making our choice to travel to our bucket list location of Costa Rica.

    I do have a question. We have excursions booked for our trip coming up on the 1st of April until the 8th. Have they cancelled these excursions in any way or are they still up and running? We are zip lining, visiting Arenal and the hot springs and also doing the river cruise. As we are not really concerned with travelling to Costa Rica itself, we do not want to lose out on our cancellation credit if we cannot take part in these excursions.

    Thanks again, we will be paying attention to your updates as they are layed out quite well.

    Tony,

    Ontario, Canada

    1. Hi Tony, Yes, all tours are running like normal. There are still tourists arriving in Costa Rica. We were out to dinner last night and there were several larger groups who had just gotten into town. So while travel is way down overall, some people are still coming. If you end up having to cancel your trip, you should contact the individual operators to see if there is flexibility regarding rescheduling for a later date. We have been doing this for a lot of clients, and tour operators have been modifying without any cancellation penalty. This is all a big hit to the local economy so most businesses are just trying to get people here, even if it is later on. We hope this helps.

      1. Hi Jenn and Matt,

        First, I topok the time to read up on your story after asking my question to you. Quite fascinating and very jealous I might add! Congrats to you both for making such a successful and life changing decision.

        Your information was so very helpful. We have made the difficult decision to postpone our trip. Sunwing cancelled all flights recently anyway so it was inevitable . Our borders are also no closed but our biggest decision not to travel was not wanting to be responsible to get others sick and put people at risk. I think that is the biggest thing we all need to understand right now. it is everyone else we need to take into consideration. As most of us would recover, its our aging population that will suffer the worst.

        Sunwing granted us a full value travel voucher that we WILL use to visit Costa Rica! It has been on both of our bucket lists for a long time. Maybe you can share a time of year not to travel to Costa Rica from a weather standpoint? Being from Canada we would want to travel between November and March because of wanting warmth.

        Thanks again. Maybe we should take a drive and meet for dinner at a place you’d recommend?!

  7. thanks your posts has made it easier to relax – we are from the UK and things are changing every hour… we have been on hold for month wondering if we will be going my son is 11 he has medical insurance to cover him and we have insurance the travel agent said its still ok for us to fly at the moment but on other pages it says things are changing and they are stopping people coming in because they are worried about CR healthcare system and cancelled many hotel with tour operaters , and people are stuck at airports and have to come back after waiting hours is this not true…want the best for our family like everyone else

  8. Hi Jenn and Matt,
    I’m supposed to do a border run by this Friday, my 90th day in Costa Rica. I’d much rather not, as I already have pre-existing respiratory issues related to a heart condition. I’m thinking of filing for the 60-day visa extension, and I know that time is running short. Are you familiar with the process at all? Most importantly, would I be legal here after having submitted my application, even if I haven’t heard back by Friday? Thank you.

    1. Hi J,
      Sorry for the delay, you’ve probably already read the updates but the borders are closed until April 12 at midnight. According to recent Outlier Legal Services news post, Tourists (non-Residents) who entered the country after December 17, 2019, can legally remain in Costa Rica until May 17, 2020 with their current stamp. You can read the whole article here.

      1. Do you know what options might be available if your Covid test comes back positive. We are staying in VRBO accommodation so wouldn’t be able to extend our stay for a quarantine in that property. We are flying out of Liberia so would need to know the protocols for that area. Thank you.

        1. Did you ever get any info about your question? I’m wondering the same thing, where would we go if we test positive ?

          1. Hi Amy, If you test positive, you get to pick where you stay for your quarantine and must notify the Ministry of Health. There are no designated hotels for quarantining.

  9. Hey, I’m currently in Costa Rica. We’ve been here for 4 days and are meant to stay for another 10. Has there been any information for tourists who are already in Costa Rica? We are considering if we need to go home early. We really don’t wan to but we’re worried how quickly everything will start to close. Thanks!

    1. Hi Lizzy, We’d rescommend rescheduling your flight if you haven’t already so that you leave soon. Now that Costa Rica has closed its borders, airlines are cancelling a lot of flights. Safe travels and sorry that your trip was cut short! 🙁

      1. Hi Susan, Right now, you do not need to be vaccinated to take the bus in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is working on having a vaccine passport, though, which could affect some activities. Here’s a link to our post with more information.

  10. We are US citizens in CR now… we’ve been here three weeks and had planned another week but are returning to the US early while we can. The Auto Mercado in Herradura is fully stocked. People seem calm but today the beaches were all closed so we are hunkered down in our rental until we fly out on Tuesday.

    1. Hi I’m wondering if anyone has any information regarding traveling with a service dog? Specifically to Costa Rica from California. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance. Kind regards, Stacy

  11. We have a trip scheduled to Costa Rica from the US April 25 – May 1. Do you think we need to go ahead and reschedule? We have excursions and flights already booked

    1. Hi Dawn, We’d go ahead and reschedule everything for later this year. It’s very unlikely that they will reopen the border and that flights will be running as usual by April 25th. If you could reschedule starting in July or later, that would be the safest option in terms of when to expect things to be getting back to normal. Of course, you never know, but that’s our best guess right now.

  12. Hi Guys, your website is very helpful and the comprehensive info and links too. Please could I ask your advice regarding our daughter who is currently working at a cloud forest in Costa Rica and having a fantastic time. We are from the Uk and have booked her onto the last flight leaving to London on Saturday. However, her preference is to stay but we are concerned about her well being if she falls ill. It’s probably an impossible question to answer but do you have any advice that you could pass on? Many thanks

    1. Hi Mike, Yes, we would recommend that she leave to go back home so that she doesn’t get stuck here. Medical care in Costa Rica is fairly good, but they have closed the borders and there is no way to know how long that will last. We’d get her on a flight now while you still can.

  13. Hello,
    This is absolutely off subject nothing to do with covid 19. My fiancé is from and living in Costa Rica and we plan on getting married this May. Can you help me with what I need and who I can contact to make this a more easy process. I know I need a few things to be able to marry in Costa Rica but Im not sure what they are exactly. Your guidance would be greatly appreciated.

  14. Any updates on airlines flying after April 13th CR border lock from Canada? Air Canada shows flights leaving Toronto – San Jose May 2nd. Curious to know if there’s any airline flying in earlier. Thank you!

    1. Hi Marcus, You may have heard, but yesterday, Costa Rica extended the travel ban until April 30th. It may extend beyond that as well. Hopefully we are out of this in a few months and you can travel here again soon.

      1. Hi there. We cannot find any official statement where the border closure has been extended from the 12th to the 30th. Can you help me find it? None of the official sites are listing 4/30. They only list 4/12. Thank you!

          1. Thank you so, so much. I appreciate this. Your site has been a huge help to my boyfriend and me during this time.

  15. Thanks for this sharing your information!!! Since I have family living there this is extremely welcomed information.

  16. Hi, I was originally scheduled to fly to Nicaragua and Costa Rica on March 23, but my flights were cancelled and it would have been impossible to enter Costa Rica legally at that point due to Costa Rica closing its borders. I’ve been thinking about rebooking my flights for June, but it would appear that under current regulations I would have to self-quarantine for two weeks. Are you aware when that regulation is do to be relaxed?
    I am in California working from home by phone and internet and I expect that to last until at least August. With a fast internet connection and cell phone reception, I really could work from just about anywhere in the world at this point and I am applying for Costa Rican citizenship and need about 6 more months of “residency” in Costa Rica to complete the requirement to obtain CR citizenship, so this could be an opportunity to obtain about 2 to 3 months toward that goal.
    Also, theres not much information coming out of Nicaragua as it appears dozens may be dying, but the government is listing them as deaths due to pneumonia. Is there any talk of keeping the border to Nicaragua closed even after travel opens to other countries? I know that it may be officially difficult to answer these questions, but I was hoping you may have some inside information that is not available elsewhere. Thank you.

    1. Hi Jay, You may have heard but they just extended the border closure for non-resident/citizen foreigners until May 15th. We think everything else remains the same, including the 14 day quarantine requirements for residents and citizens reentering. Regarding Nicaragua, yes, the situation seems a bit out of control with the government not doing anything. We haven’t heard anything about them keeping that border closed longer, but you never know. Even though the current general closure is only through May 15, we expect that to be extended given the extensive spread throughout the rest of the world and the fact that the vast majority of people in CR haven’t had the virus yet. Hope that flights start running again so that you can get here soon.

  17. Good information and so glad I found this website. It’s almost comforting to know others are in the same boat as us. We were supposed to be in Costa Rica this weekend celebrating our daughter’s wedding. After a year of careful planning, we are beyond heartbroken that we had to postpone it, but we’re going to try again in July. Hopefully, by then travel restrictions will have lifted and we can resume our plans, but if not, we decided not to cancel. We will just postpone again until it’s safe to go. PerseVida!

    1. Hi Paige, The government today just extended the border closure until May 15th. We’ll see if it extendeds farther beyond that. That’s terrible that you had to postpone the wedding. We hope it works out for July! We have some clients who are hoping to come then too. Take care!

  18. Hi from Texas ! Just a note to thank you for all you do to promote CR. I have been there several times since 2012 and plan to purchase a vacation home in San Isidro next trip. It was scheduled for April, then May, then June…. now I arrive in CR July 9th… looking forward as always. Question: I was told by the University of San Pedro that if I taught (I have graduate science degrees) a semester that they would get my residency in a couple weeks! Have you heard of this “fast track” for professors??? Thanks in advance,

    Tevis

    1. Hi Tevis, We aren’t sure but do think that it is easier to get residency if you are teaching. Our son’s school has some teachers this year from North America and they got visas fairly easily we heard. I’m not sure of the specific type of residency it is or how long it is good for. Best to talk to a laywer in CR. Hope the borders are open for you to come in July!

    2. Trevis – You need to reschedule. They just extended the border restrictions again – to August 1, and then only to travelers coming from countries that have COVID under control. They haven’t defined what that means, but the US won’t qualify unless some corrupt deal comes into play. I’d be surprised if they don’t push that August 1 date back anyway,

      I have never heard of abnyone getting residency in two weeks, and, from what I hear, nobody is getting answers from Migracion during the restrictions. Someone’s probably blowing smoke.

      Residency is not a big perk. I know a lot of expats who are “perpetual tourists” and just crossed into Panama or Nicaragua to renew their every three months before the lock-down. I am a permanent resident, which still wouldn’t get me back into the country if I left during the border closure (citizens only).

      If I had my way, we would be on lock-down until a proven vaccine has been distributed to everyone here. We are seeing a rise in positive tests, but are holding at under 3000 cases, about half “cured”, and only 12 dead. Panama, to the south has more than 40X the number of COVID fatalities, despite a population only 80% the size of CR; and Nicaragua is suppressing reporting, but is in absolute chaos from what my family there tells me (they all had COVID and survived, but that defies the odds).

      Keep checking the US embassy web site for the latest. Also tha organization Association of Residents of Costa Rica (ARCR) has much info posted on various residency requirements. It is good to get your documents before you come if you plan to apply right away (documents are good only for a short time – mine were lost in the mail twice). Also, ARCR has lawyers, but you really don’t need to pay someone if you can follow instructions. I hired one of their l;awyers when I originally filed, but have done my renewals and change from “Temoporary” to “Permanent” by myself.

      Good luck, but I don’t think that you should count on coming before 2021.

      1. Thanks Scott and Matt for the good info! am afraid that I’m just going to have to be patient. I do appreciate your help and advice. I agree that strict enforcement is best but just wish I had been “stuck” in CR back first of the year!!! 🙂 Thanks again!

  19. I woke up one day and found that I was 60 years old and hadn’t really traveled much. Looking to get the ball rolling, I had scheduled 3 weeks in Costa Rica supposed to depart May 1. I’ve been diligently studying Spanish on Duolingo for months, and was going to spend part of that 3 weeks at a language school.
    At any rate thanks you guys for keeping us all up to date on the sate of travel to CR. The other blogs aren’t as diligent.
    I re-booked for mid-September, though I heard the weather isn’t as nice??

    1. Hi Steve, That’s great that you have been working on your Spanish. We used to use Duolingo too. Hope that this is all over soon and you can get down here. Yeah, the weather in September can be pretty rainy, but not always and some places have better weather than others. The Caribbean side is actually fairly nice that time of year. Here’s the link to our Weather post with more info.

  20. Hi, we still have a trip planned for mid-July hopeful the border will open. If it does do you think a 14 day quarantine will be required for any international tourists?

    1. Hi Mike, Yes, we do think a test and 14 day quarantine will be required if they open the borders, which we really aren’t sure they will do anytime soon. They are requiring both now for citizens and residents returning.

      1. Hi Jenn and Matt, I can’t seem to find any information about ” mandatory” or ” required ” quarantine if we arrive in Costa R as tourist, vacation purposes. You say that it will most likely be required. I am scheduled for last week of July there. So if they stick to the restrictions they have in May and June (I know it’s closed till June 15 so far), then we will be tested (how, temperature ? blood ? and where ? ) .. and then we are mandated to quarantine ? So if I arrive at my resort, I am required to stay there for 14 days ? Am I tracked ? How can I do that when I’m only there for 6 nights ? This would be a total mute point in coming to CR for vacation. can you forward me the link or info where you got the quarantine info? Maybe by late July, we may not need to quarantine or have a test ? I know you won’t know till closer to the date but it’s frustrating not knowing. I will have to avert to plan B soon if I can’t come to CR. Thanks.

        1. Hi Christine, It’s hard to say at this point what kind of testing and quarantine they would require, or if they would even require those when the border is eventually opened to tourists. If it’s not opened for a while, then they may not require a quarantine since they obviously realize that it would not make it possible for most people to come on vacation.

          So we aren’t sure, but based on what they are doing now, it’s a self quarantine but we’ve heard that the government calls you daily to check compliance. I wouldn’t think they’d let tourists wait it out from any random hotel. For the foreigners who tested positive in March, they were quarantined at hotels in San José. For testing, they have been doing nasal swabs of truck drivers in order to allow them to cross the border from Nicaragua, so maybe it would be that, but who knows.

          Based on how cautious the government has been so far and because their latest plan to reopen the economy aims to focus on promoting local tourism before international tourism (and that plan goes until August), we don’t think it’s likely that they’ll open the border in June or July. We have had a noticeable increase in new cases over the past few days with the gradual reopening so they will be keeping a close eye on how this progresses. We will update this post if we hear anything more. Sorry it is so indefinite but that is all the information we have right now.

  21. Thanks. Our trip is planned to be 17 days long, so in reality even if the border opened we would be required to quarantine at a hotel/rental for the first 14 days of the trip? No beachgoing or leaving the grounds of the rental? I know you can’t tell us what to do, but would your recommendation be to reschedule a July 14th trip at this point? We have until June 25th before our cancellation period start expiring.

    1. Thanks so much for the info ! Wow , that’s a new observation that I received – that you don’t foresee the border opening in June or July . That does make sense if they are slowly first trying to have locals travel Before foreigners. We shall wait and see. Thanks again !

  22. Do you know anything about renewing car registration? My car expired in April. Not sure if I can renew now or can I wait?

    1. Hi Tina, The registration (Marchamo) is due by the end of the year in Costa Rica and you can pay that at the bank or INS. Maybe you are talking about the inspection (Riteve) – the due date for that varies. For this, you go to a Riteve station. These are open right now, but we think only one person is allowed to go due to COVID-19. A lot of times, people have their mechanic take the car for them. You can read our post Riteve: Costa Rica’s Annual Vehicle Inspection for more information.

      1. Thanks…
        Yes RTV …hard to get an appointment…but I think in San Jose they are enforcing plate driving restrictions more that RTV…mine expired in April.
        I tried to ask Nissan…got a quote for a new car. 😂

  23. Hi, thanks for all the valuable info. However, not clear from the opening guidelines, whether the border will open for tourist (int’l flights) on June 16th. Is there a site where we can follow and find out?

    1. Hi Michael, The border is closed until at least June 30th now to tourists. They announced it the other day. The government has typically been dealing with the international border closure separate from the reopening guidelines. They do talk about it at their daily news conference (available on the Ministry of Health’s Facebook page) and include it in reports on their website (both Spanish only). We also cover the border closure immediately after they make announcements so you can check this post (see the Important section at the very beginning of post) or follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.

  24. Hola! Thank you sooo much for this amazing post and for all the info. I am very turned about what to do… We are supposed to go to Arenal and Manuel Antonio about 7 days the last week of June and the beginning of July… From what we have read, the country will be close until June 16 so, hopefully, it would be ok to enter Costa Rica by the end of June. However, based on the different faces, it seems like things like beaches are close for parts of the day.. and National Parks will only operate at 50 % capacity and by appointments. Do you foresee the situation being about the same by the end of June and beginning of July… with only 7 days there, I am afraid we will not be able to do everything we had plan due to the time restrictions and new rules. Also, still deciding if it is safe to take a flight by the end of June… but that is a whole different thing 🙂 Any guidance will be highly appreciated. Thank you for your amazing work!

    1. Hi Rose, We’re not sure if you heard, the government announced on May 29th that borders would be closed until at least the end of June. We think it is likely that they will extend it beyond that as well. So we’d probably recommend rescheduling your trip. Beaches aren’t supposed to be open for more hours under the current reopening plan until July 11th. They are still proceeding with the second phase of reopening, which started today June 1. This phase includes more national parks and hotels opening.

      1. Does anybody know if the boarders will closed on the months of April or May ? Or when ? Does people coming from United States has to do quarantine ? For how long ? My husband and my kid’s are planning to reunite with me her vein Costa Rica on April 26 they will get back to usa on May 4th . My flight back will be on May 22 together with my husband . He will have to comeback by himself again on May 17 and both will go back on May 22

        1. Hi Evelynn, The government hasn’t suggested anything about closing the border. So far, the only measures they have put into effect since this latest spike are driving restrictions on weekends (doesn’t apply to rental cars) and a 9 pm curfew (no driving and businesses need to close by 9 pm). The next press conference is on Friday. If anything changes, we will update this post. There could be additional measures put in place if the high numbers keep up. We don’t expect them to close borders, though.

          No, visitors from the US do not need to quarantine upon arrival. They only need to purchase travel insurance that covers Covid and fill out a form online. Here is a link to our Entry Requirements post with more information: https://www.twoweeksincostarica.com/traveling-costa-rica-during-covid-19-entry-requirements-protocols/

          You will each need to show negative Covid tests to get back into the US. Here’s a link with more info: https://www.twoweeksincostarica.com/preflight-testing-departing-costa-rica-logistics-tips/

  25. Thank you so much for this article, it really helps a lot of us that are trying to find good reliable up to date information. Keep up the great job.

  26. Hi Jenn and Matt! Your article was the most helpful one I was able to find. Do you know how CR is enforcing a 14 day quarantine for tourists? My boyfriend and I are scheduled to visit July 14. This is during phase 4 of reopening and I’m hoping things will be lax enough for us to still come, but would hate to get there and have to stay locked up.

    Thanks!
    Taylor

    1. Hi Taylor, We don’t know anything yet about how the government will open international borders and allows tourists into the country. Currently, they are testing and requiring a 14 day quarantee for citizens and residents who are entering. That’s all we know right now. If we hear anything else, we will update this post. As it stands now, borders are closed until at least June 30th and cases (and the curve) are increasing (we had 28 new cases today).

  27. This information is so hopeful~ thank you very much!
    We are planning to visit Costa Rica for the first time mid July. We want to get the FULL experience by visiting restaurants, the hot springs and the rainforest. But, if there are restrictions (even the wearing of masks), we are considering cancelling. Our hotel wants us to decide by the end of the week~ tough decision with the travel ban still occurring. We appreciate any thoughts on this dilemma.

    1. Hi Barbara-Jo, Cases have been rising steadily over the past week. Today we had 86 new cases. So we think it is unlikely that things will be back to normal for your trip in mid-July. In our opinion, it seems unlikely that the border will be open then, and even if it is, there may be other restrictions that would make your trip less enjoyable. We would recommend rescheduling for late this year or next year.

      1. Thank you for your honest opinion. We were leaning towards the postponement but feel much more confident in that decision after receiving your response. Thank you again and hopefully we will get to visit next year when we can truly enjoy what is sure to be an amazing vacation. Be well!

  28. Oi, that sucks. I was really excited to get my tonsils removed. I hope things get better for CR and everywhere soon.

  29. Everything was going on well as noted when you were using Hydroxychloroquine:.

    https://qcostarica.com/hydroxychloroquine-the-drug-costa-rica-uses-successfully-to-fight-covid-19/

    Then “WHO” using fake a Lancent published article that used faked data, tells Costa Rica to stop using a drug that was clearly saving lives, Costa Rica foolishly agrees!

    https://ticotimes.net/2020/05/29/costa-rica-will-temporarily-stop-using-hydroxychloroquine-as-treatment-for-covid-19

    The outcome is as clear as daylight. Take a look at COVID-19 demographics!

    https://corona.help/country/costa-rica

    Why on Earth did Costa Rica stop using a drug that was working? Ok, you followed “WHO”, but now that “WHO”has admitted that it was misled, and the Lancet has removed the fake article on which “WHO” used to advise you stop Hydroxychloroquine, are you going to start using it to treat the citizens like before?

  30. I am thinking of vacationing for the months of July, August and September in San Jose. Do you know anyone that is doing this and also working online? I am sure that a CR lawyer would have the answer but I’m curious if you know if it can be done. Thanks for the great information on this site.

      1. Thank you very much for responding so quickly.

        Actually there is a better than 50% chance that I will move to CR. I hope to hire locally as well. Obviously I have a lot to learn!

  31. I am a us citizen . I know Costa Rica borders are close till June 30th. Is there any way you can go to Costa Rica for family emergency ??

    1. Hi Vik, You can file a special petition through a lawyer but we have heard that they have not been lenient thus far with granting exceptions for entry. Let us know if you’d like a recommendation for a lawyer in Costa Rica to use. Happy to send you the contact info.

    1. Hi Jason, You may have heard, but the border closure is going to be extended past June 30. Costa Rica may start allowing some countries in at some point in the near future, but they haven’t made any specific announcements yet. We expect more info soon and will update the post once we do. A self-quarantine is required for citizens and residents currently entering, but we don’t know if tourists will have to do this as well yet.

  32. I’m hoping you can clarify a driving question. I need to rent a car to drive an incapacitated friend to SJ airport from Puerto Viejo on Saturday, 4-July and return to PV on Sunday, 5-July. Will proof of her airline ticket and a hotel reservation for Saturday night be sufficient to avoid getting a fine if stopped with a restricted plate number. Weekends are determined by even/odd numbers, so I would be driving on one of those days restricted. I am a CR permanent resident with a CR driver’s license. Thank you for any assistance.

    1. Hi Blondie, That should be fine, we would think, since your friend is unable to drive. Of course you never know with Transito, but all they have been requiring is a hotel reservation for driving on weekends.

  33. I have a Lufthansa reservation for a flight from Frankfurt to San José on July 28th but I’ve read that international flights won’t be accepted until August 1st. (I’m an American resident in France, going to CR to visit my daughter.) I’m anticipating some kind of communication from the airline either canceling or rescheduling my flight but I’m getting anxious because all my plans hinge on when I arrive. Do you have any sense of how likely they are to hold to the reopening date? We were going to pick a national park or nature destination, find a rental and just stay put. She has to leave her rented room in Heredia at the end of this month and will (fingers crossed) start a message therapy course at a school in Samara on August 17th. So we would have to go SOMEWHERE but it’s hard to figure out where with all the uncertainty.

    1. Hi Kim, Yeah, it is hard to make plans right now with all the uncertaintly. Certain areas could even be on lockdown when you get here. You have probably heard, but the San Jose metro area and some other regions are under an orange alert right now with most everything closed and driving restricted. We’re also not sure how they will handle entry since not all countries will be allowed in. We don’t think that the US will be on the list of permitted countries given the number of active Covid cases there. You will be coming from Frankfurt but will need to make sure Americans traveling from outside the US will be allowed in. We’re really not sure about them keeping the August 1 date given the significant increase in cases recently. Sorry we can’t be of more help, but there is a lot of uncertainty right now, as you know.

  34. Thank you for your comprehensive site. I’ve lived here for many years and have found your site very helpful!

  35. Hey, great site. I’ve been watching it everyday for updates as my bf and I have plane tickets and an air bnb booked sept1-sept 30th in Puerto Viejo. Fingers crossed we will be able to take the trip! I love it there. We are from Canada. Thanks again for the updates!!

    1. Hi Tina, Hope you can come! There have been rumors that Canada will be on the list of countries permitted in once the airports open. We should know for sure soon!

  36. Hi Jen and Matt,

    Thank you for this blog. What a comprehensive and incredibly detailed take on Costa Rica over the last 5 months this is! I am planning on a 3 week trip in August and will fly in to San Jose on the 5th from London via Dallas. It’s hard to tell from research on the internet but are hotels, hostels, beaches, bars and hikes likely to be open in Costa Rica in August? I am keen to visit Costa Rica even if half of the things that draw visitors to the country are closed. Any advice for a visit in August would be much appreciated. Stay safe. Rob

    1. Hi Rob, The government is supposed to make announcements in the next couple of days about the airports reopening on August 1. No details have really been announced so far. As far as things being open, it varies depending on if a town is under an orange or yellow alert. Right now, most of the San Jose metro area and some other regions like around Jaco are under an orange alert, which means that most business, including hotels and restaurants, are closed. In yellow alert areas, we are still reopening under Phase 3 so most everything is still open and driving is not restricted. So those would be good places to visit. We link above where to go to find the current orange/yellow alert information. The current orange alert shutdown restrictions are set to expire after this weekend so we are expecting updates on that as well. Hope that helps! It’s hard to plan anything right now, but it sounds like you are flexible so that is good. Hope it’s still a good trip for you.

      1. Thank you so much for your advice Jenn and Matt,

        My revised plan was to fly to Costa Rica (San Jose) then get a bus or hire a car and drive to Playa Tamarindo or Corcovado for a few weeks. Do you think this will be possible to do this when I arrive or will I need to quarantine as soon as I land? What do the new restrictions mean for bars, beaches and restaurants? Do you think there will be much open in rural areas of Costa Rica.

        Once again, thank you for this blog!

        Rob

        1. Hi Rob, The government made several important announcements last week. We have summarized them here along with entry requirements, etc. Tourists from countries that are allowed in do not need to quarantine. Yes, you can take the bus or rent a car (probably a better idea to get a car) and drive to Tamarindo or the Osa. Tamarindo will be less rainy. Bars are still closed everywhere. Beaches are open until 2:30 pm in yellow alert zones (currently most of the country) and 9:30 am in orange alert zones. Restaurants are open at 50%. Check out the link we give above for lots more additional detail. If you decide to rent a car, we get a discount for 10% off. You can find more info on our rental car discount page. Hope you have a great visit! Lots is open so it is definitely possible!

  37. Hi Rob,

    I am an American trying to get to Nicaragua. My fiancé’ lives in Managua. I have tickets for both Liberia and Managua for the first week of August.

    Will you be updating on the requirements to enter the Costa Rica?

    I know Costa Rica is considering not allowing Americans to enter or only from areas where the US has the virus under control. I will be coming from Denver.

    I look forward to any information you can provide on the requirements to enter Costa Rica so I can complete those processes before arriving.

    Thank you for your blog

    1. Hi Sean, We expect an update today from the government about the airports reopening. We will update this post once we have news. You can also watch the Ministry of Health press conference live on Facebook at 1 pm. And yes, we will be updating this post on entry requirements (once they are announced. Hope you can get to Nicaragua to see your girlfriend soon.

  38. This is a lot of great information and thank you for the continued updates. We hace booked our stay since last December for our wedding this December 2020 and much like many people, we are sitting in a holding pattern. With the U.S. still being banned from many countries, aside from being disheartened by how thibgs are here and how people are acting, we are trying to figure out our best options. We aren’t looking to cancel and are hoping that, worst case scenario, we can just move our date since everything is paid for already. We are wondering how/when they’re(Costa Rica) is going to evaluate U.S. traveler restrictions so we can make our best judgment.

    1. Hi James, We’re sorry to hear that you had to postpone your trip. The government has said that they will reassess the list of countries every two weeks based on current epidemiological data. I think that the first month or so will be a test to see how it goes at the airports and within the country with having tourists here. You should definitely be able to move your dates if the US is not allowed in by December, which we hope it will be.

  39. Hi! This is also off topic. I have been considering relocating to Costa Rica from the US. I’d like to get in contact with others that hVe moved there from the states. I’m looking for info such as the best places to live, the downside (if any) of living in CR, things I should know, etc.,

    Do you think you could steer me in the right direction for something like that or a blog or forum?

    Thanks so much!

  40. Hi,

    Thank you so much for sharing such updated, accurate information on your site. It’s incredibly helpful and generous. I’m wondering your thoughts on our situation: my husband is Costa Rican, born and raised in Parrita. I’m a US citizen, as are our two girls (we live in MA). We’d like to live in Parrita next year (this has been our plan for a very long time), and have United flights out of NYC on September 6. I’m so confused about whether we will be able to go. I think we can (with marriage and birth certificates in hand), but why would there even be a flight scheduled from NYC? I don’t see how we could actually get to Costa Rica? Any thoughts appreciated…trying to figure out if we need to cancel or can continue to plan.

    Kind regards,

    Katie

    1. Hi Katie, We´re not sure why but have heard from many people about flights being scheduled out of the US when there is little chance of them happening. Often they don´t get cancelled until the last minute either, which is really frustrating for people. According to the SJO flight operations page, United is doing repatriation flights so maybe that is why there is a flight scheduled? The US Embassy has information on repatriation flights so check there if you haven´t already. Hope you can figure out a way to get here soon!

  41. Hi. I would like to know if Costa Ricans are prevented to travel abroad, specifically Mexico since its not on the approved list of countries. Not sure if that list only apply to inbound foreigners. I do know about the 14-day self quarantine upon return. I was able to purchase a round trip ticket for my partner for early September but wondering will there be any problem boarding the flights. Aeromexico didn’t prevent the purchase of the roundtrip tickets and I’m assuming that’s OK. Thanks in advance for answering my question.

    1. Hi Jon, Yes, that list that Costa Rica came up with only applies to inbound countries. She should be able to get back into CR no problem as a Tica, you’ll just want to be sure that the flight through Aeromexico will actually happen.

  42. Hi there — do you know how a tourist can go about getting a COVID test when in Costa Rica. We are thinking of travelling on to another destination that is open but requires a negative test result (much as Costa Rica does itself). Is there a way they can be booked in at all?

    1. Hi Ed, Many private hospitals and some clinics can do the test. They did the PCR test and can guarantee results in 24 hours. Take a look at Hospital CIMA and Clinica Biblica in San Jose. Hospital Metropolitano (has a few locations around the country) can do them too, among others. In Costa Rica, to get a test, you are supposed to be showing symptoms or be a suspicious case due to contact with someone who tested positive, etc. This link has more info: https://www.hospitalcima.com/en/covid-19-diagnostic-tests-available-at-cima/

      We’re not sure how strict that is but you could call Cima to ask. The operator and many others speak English. Hope that helps!

  43. Hi Jenn & Matt,

    Do you know if any Air Canada flights have arrived as yet at SJO? I have a flight booked from Toronto on November 1 and I can’t find anywhere if AC has flown to CR in September. Can you help?

    Many thanks,
    Charlene

      1. Hi I’m loving your blog! I’m from Costa Rica and I live in Florida. It’s so weird the fact that I’m trying to get the epidemical form done and Florida is not on the list, probably because is not an authorized state but why is there flights from FL then? I already did the Covid test and I’m waiting for the results cause I fly this sep 21st. Makes me nervous that I won’t be admitted if I can’t fix this.

        1. Hi Jacqueline, No, we’re sorry but Florida is not on the list yet so we don’t think you will be allowed on the plane 🙁 There are flights from Florida because connecting flights are allowed through non-approved states, so for example, a passenger from New York could change planes in Florida and be let in (as long as their layover is less than 18 hrs and they don’t leave the airport). Hope you can reschedule without too much trouble and come soon!

  44. No, AC is not prohibiting travel, but they are not recommending unless essential travel. So, I don’t know how that affects AC’s decisions. Thank you for the FC group…..very helpful indeed. Thank you for all you do to support us!!

  45. We are moving to CR and flying down from CA on Oct 2nd. One of us is needing to fly back about a week later for business. Do you know if there are requirements, quarantine, coming back into the U.S.? I havent found anything in my searches. Thank you, Steve

    1. Hi Steve, In the US, it seems that quarantine requirements are done state-by-state. From what we can tell, in California, there is no requirement for returning travelers. Here’s a link to a NY Times article with more.

  46. I live in British Columbia, Canada and currently there is only one lab who provides COVID-19 tests for private purposes such as vacation and business use. It’s 400km over a mountain pass from where I live so travelling there in the Winter is really out of the question plus they won’t guarantee getting the results to you within 48 hours which also creates issues. Taking a test 72 hrs prior to arriving in CR seems pointless as you will come in contact with dozens / hundreds of people after taking this test. I hope this requirement is eliminated or it could become a sow stopper for many travellers.

  47. Thank you for this very informative website. My fiancée and I are scheduled to be married in Costa Rica on October 11th. However, I just noticed travelers from Texas will not be omitted to Costa Rica until October 15th. Do you know if there are any expectations granted? What is the process to quickly apply for an exception? We are arriving on October 9th.

    1. Hi John, Unfortunately, from what we have heard from a reputable law firm here that does immigration law, it is extremely difficult to get an exception to the entry requirements. In your case, it is very unlikely that they would grant it. Hope you can push back your wedding for a couple of weeks.

      1. Jenn and Matt. Thanks for getting back to us. This is disappointing. I hope the airline and resort will accommodate a change without too many penalties.

  48. Hey,

    My partner and I are coming out in December and your blog has been super helpful! We’ve booked in for our vaccine test and will wait until we know we can definitely fly before we pay for the insurance as it is quite a lot and things change day to day.

    We plan on heading to Nicaragua after and they also require a PCR test before entering. Do you know where we can get one of these in San Jose? We’ve researched but I just want to make sure we can before looking into flights ect (something we need before we come to Costa Rica as we require a flight out I guess when our insurance ends).

    Thanks,

    Laura x

    1. Hi Laura, Glad our site has been helpful! That is a good idea to wait to get the insurance until you know for sure you are coming. 

      Yes, there are several options for getting a PCR Covid test in San Jose. Two good ones are Hospital CIMA in Escazu and Hospital Metropolitano. You would just need to confirm with them beforehand that you would be eligible for the test without having symptoms or being in close contact with someone with Covid. Hope that helps!

  49. I was hoping you could shed some light on the 72 hour requirement for the negative Covid test. I am scheduled to leave Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada on November 14, but with the reduced flight options I have to overnight in Toronto and won’t be arriving into San Jose until the afternoon of November 15. Does the negative test have to be within 72 hours of my flight out of Saskatoon or within 72 hours of my arrival into San Jose?

    1. Hi L. Crone, First, we just want to make sure you have seen our post on Entry Requirements for Costa Rica During Covid, which is the post on our site that directly deals with this and related issues. We’re happy to answer on here as well, though.

      As far as we know, the 72 hours is from your first flight to Costa Rica, so Saskatchewan in your case. Someone in a Facebook group all about travel to Costa Rica during Covid said that she confirmed this with ICT (the CR Tourism Institute) and had it in writing. Her flights were San Francisco to Houston to SJO. She lives in California. Here is what she said ICT said: “The PCR test must be taken before your departure time of your first flight to Costa Rica. In your case, before SFO.”

      So that is how the 72 hours should be counted. We hope you don’t run into any problems. Since you have some time, you could reach out to ICT to try to get that in writing so you have it in case anyone gives you a hard time at the airport.

  50. Hey there! We’ll be near Uvita this winter and want to get a COVID test after arriving (as well as of course before coming to CR). Do you know if there are ways to access a test nearby Uvita, or if we would have to return to San Jose? I see the list on the embassy website of labs and hospitals that offer testing, all only in San Jose. Do you know if the test results can be emailed, or if we have to wait around for a few days to pick them up?

      1. Hi,
        Have you heard any update to the ICT letter about accepting proof of home ownership or long term rental contract in lieu of the 2000 dollar lodging requirement. Any recent confirmation from people who permitted to satisfy that requirement by showing they owned a home in Costa Rica would be nice to hear about.

        1. Hi Kirk, We have heard of people getting in without accommodation insurance with proof of owning a home. Someone just said this the other day in one of the Facebook groups for expats. I think she had the deed as proof. Haven’t heard much other than that but that doesn’t mean it isn’t working for people.

          You could always email ICT in advance with your international insurance information and proof of home ownership/long term rental to get confirmation, then print the email and bring it with you in case you have any problems. Their email is seguros@ict.go.cr

          1. Hi again. Would you please share the name of the facebook group page for expats you mentioned above? Thanks so much for your helpful reporting on this situation

  51. I have found health / quarantine insurance that I believe meets the government requirement. Does anyone know if there is a contact in CR that can validate that the policy meets the requirements.

  52. Dave Pack, Would you please share the name of the company and any identifying info about the particular policy? On a more general note, I have sent Mr. Torres at the ICT the URL of the policy offered by INSUBUY that covers the entry requirements for Costa Rica: asking for confirmation that the ICT accepts the policy. If and when I get an answer, I’ll post it here.

  53. Thanks for all the info. We were suppose to go in October. Pushed it back to January. Anyone know what types of things there is to do at night? Not necessarily looking for club type things or anything, just any type of night entertainment. I know beaches close at a certain time and there is a general curfew. Were staying at the Westin Reserva Conchal.

  54. Dear Jenn and Matt,
    Thank you for the informative blog. We are thinking about visiting Costa Rica for the winter season. Could you please let me know how the mask situation is there? Most specifically if masks are mandated outdoors.
    Many thanks in advance,
    Paul and Deborah

    1. Hi Paul and Deborah, Masks are required indoors but not outdoors in most settings. Some tours require them outdoors, though. For adventure tours in a group setting like zip lining, you need to wear them. Other activities and attractions may require them for the duration of the tour too. Although they aren’t required outside, you will still see a lot of people wearing them on the street.

      Here is a link to our Entering Costa Rica During Covid post, which has some more information on the measures Costa Rica has in place (go to the bottom of the post): https://www.twoweeksincostarica.com/traveling-costa-rica-during-covid-19-entry-requirements-protocols/

  55. Thanks for your informative blog! We are considering a multiple-month visit this winter and we understand the restrictions as well as the fluid nature of the situation. For us the most important question is whether Ticos really want foreign visitors right now? Based on our previous trips to CR I have no doubt that everyone will be kind and helpful. I just want to make sure that we are not causing offense or anxiety for locals if we show up. Any thoughts or insights on that?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Mike, The general consensus among Ticos is that they are ready for the country to reopen and welcome visitors again. We think you will be welcomed with open arms. Most locals recognize the importance of foreigners for their economy. So we wouldn’t be too concerned.

  56. Hi! Thinking of visiting a friend of mine who is staying in Tamarindo at the end of the month. Am a little nervous about getting trapped etc because of Covid situation. Am I overthinking this? I’m based in New York.

    1. Hi Scott, Costa Rica would never prevent you from leaving the country. The only time this would happen is if you contracted Covid during your trip and received a 14 day quarantine order. Even if they closed borders, which is unlikely, there would still be flights available back to the US. Even at the very beginning of all this earlier this year, repatriation flights were available to get people back home. Hope that helps! Of course, New York could impose entry restrictions but it would most likely be to show a negative Covid test, which are easy to get before you leave Costa Rica.

  57. Thank you so much for this very helpful blog. We are planning to travel to Costa Rica at the end of November for about a month. We do own a place and are in the process of getting the appropriate documentation for proof of our ownership. Can anyone provide any feedback on an International health insurance policy without the lodging expense coverage that has been successfully accepted?

    Thank you so much for the help!

    1. Hi Clayton, Most travel insurance companies are covering medical expenses due to Covid so there are many options that would work. Check Travelex (https://www.travelexinsurance.com/covid19), World Nomads, and Heymondo to start. Others may be able to give more options. You just have to make sure they cover at least $50k, but from what we have seen, that shouldn’t be a problem. Hope your travels back to CR go smoothly!

  58. Hello,

    This is Tom Ghormley a long time realtor in Playa Jaco. I love your content and presentation and would like to send a link of this article to my clients as a recommendation to your blog and the services you offer.

    1. Hi Tom, Thanks for reaching out. That would be fine with us if you want to share our article/services with your clients. We appreciate you thinking of us. Thanks for your support.

  59. Hey, all of the information in this post / the rest of your blog is really useful, so thanks! I’m planning to travel to CR at the end of Dec/Jan. My main concern is if restaurants and bars etc are open or if a lot of them have closed as visitor numbers are down. Are you able to give any info on what the situation is here? Thanks again

    1. Hi Jonathan, Most restaurants and bars have been hanging in there with local tourism. Some shut down for certain months in rainy season when it is less busy in general but things are starting to pick up again. Travel typically picks up around now (end of November) for high season, and we have found this to be true this year as well. We’ve been seeing tourists recently in the beach town where we live. Not as many as usual, but some. As more people come, more restaurants will be reopening. A lot of hotels, restaurants, and tour operators have actually reopened in the last couple of weeks.

      By the time you get here, it should be looking a lot more normal. End of December is usually the busiest time of year here. Businesses are ready for visitors to come back.

      1. Hola, we are trying to get to 🇨🇷, as Canadian citizens . There is no insurance company meeting the 2000us dollar quarantine requirement , that we are aware of, can anyone advise on this?

  60. Hello!
    Great post -thank you!
    We are family from POLAND and thinking to come for 2 weeks early Jan. We plan to rent a car and visit few NP and spend 1 week Caribbean Coast. What’s the situation now? Also with Hospitals? Is it safe if we drive and stay in hotels? Or better to delay?
    Thank you and take care!
    Izabela

    1. Hi Izabela, If you are comfortable traveling during Covid, Costa Rica is a really good option. It’s easy to avoid the crowds here and just about everything is outdoors/ open air. Costa Rica’s numbers have remained reasonable and fairly constant for a couple of months now. There is plenty of space in hospitals. You can check out this article (https://ticotimes.net/2020/11/24/costa-rica-coronavirus-updates-for-tuesday-november-24) for current numbers. One thing to note is that the country probably doesn’t test enough so the numbers could be artificially low.

      Driving would be the best/safest way to get around. Hotels are supposed to be following strict Covid protocols – our Entry Requirements post (https://www.twoweeksincostarica.com/traveling-costa-rica-during-covid-19-entry-requirements-protocols/) gives an idea of the measures in place.

      We have taken several trips during Covid and have felt comfortable.

      I hope that helps! If you decide to rent a car, feel free to check out our rental car discount (https://www.twoweeksincostarica.com/costa-rica-rental-car-discount/) to get 10% off. Our readers also get free car seats if you need them for your kids.

  61. Hi guys, thanks for the great info.

    I am coming to CR in late December for about 20 days. Air Canada covers the Covid health insurance for flights upto 21 days. Their accomodation coverage however is CAD $2100, which is slightly short of the USD $2000 required by Costa Rica.

    I am wondering if anyone has had AC Covid insurance accepted. Anyone with direct experience on this, please respond. Thanks

  62. I can confirm that using the Tarawick insurance option worked perfectly. Upon arrival in San Jose, they scanned our QR Code and we were whisked right through without issue. In fact, my wife had a medical issue we had to deal with in Quepos at the Urgent Care (a great options with fantastic care!) and having the insurance proved to be a great option and actually saved us a ton of money in the end. As someone who has traveled for years abroad without insurance, the ease of use and relatively cheap cost of it will make it a part of my packing list going forward!

  63. Hi Matt and Jenn,
    Guy from Montréal here.
    I’ll be coming to CR from mid January to mid April 2021, a tight 89 days …
    I’m thinking of taking the INS insurance, approx. 300 $ for me. Did you get any feedback from people who might have needed medical services or other services covered by this insurance ? It does also cover other “normal” medical emergencies, does it not ?
    Thanks so much for the great job of transmitting all this valuable info to us travelers. 🙂

    1. Hi Guy, We haven’t heard back from anyone who has used the policy yet. However, we have heard from people who think that the INS coverage is not as robust as some of the international insurance options.

      Yes, INS does cover medical expenses due to regular accidents (not Covid related). Here’s a link (https://micrositios.ins-cr.com/seguroviajero/assets/eng_CGSegurosViajerosV9.pdf) to the specific coverage information. It is available in English.

      If you have more questions, we would reach out to a local broker that works with INS. They will be able to better explain the exact coverage you’d be getting for the $300. We gave a suggestion for a broker to contact in response to Sebastian in the comment, below.

      Hope you have a great visit!

      1. Sorry Guy, the broker info is in our other Covid post. Here it is for you: Best Insurance Costa Rica. They have been helping a lot of people, and most everyone has been happy. It doesn’t cost extra to go through them. If you’re interested, they have information on their Facebook page about how to get in touch. We use them for our regular health and car insurance.

        Otherwise, there are a couple of international insurance options for Canadians that we have heard about – people have been using BCBS and getting a letter stating that it covers Covid and the $2K USD accommodation expense, or Tugo. Hope that helps!

        1. I contacted TUGO insurance and they do NOT provide minimum required insurance. My search for Canadian insurance continues

          1. Hi Dave, Thanks for that update. That’s unfortunate. We had heard they did cover it from a reputable source but will take it out if they indeed do not meet the minimum requirements. Thanks again for letting us know.

  64. Hi,

    Thank you for this helpful blog. Do the driving restrictions apply to rental cars? It is a little difficult to plan if we do not know the license plate number to know which day we can’t drive….
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Caroline, Rental cars are exempt from the driving restrictions, so you are able to drive any day. If you got pulled over, you would just need to show your rental car agreement.

  65. Hi Jenn & Matt,

    Thank you for the useful blog! We are travelling from England in a few weeks and I was wondering if you know of any British insurance companies that have been approved by officials / meet the requirements?

    Thanks

  66. HI Everyone- I have read that at anytime anyone of Authority are able to enforce additional restrictions and or restrict a tourist from entering any particular area you may be visiting – Is this true? We are planning on coming the Month Of January from canada.

    thanks so much

    1. Hi Sherry, We have never heard of that before. It sounds very vague. While there are Covid restrictions in place, they are very reasonable and known. When the government makes changes, they do provide some notice. I suppose if there were an emergency, they would of course have the authority to enforce additional restrictions but we don’t see that happening right now. The focus is on reopening the economy in the safest way possible but they are pushing the reopening. Hope that helps.

      1. Yes thanks so much! I actually have 2 final Questions- we have full Covid coverage from manulife. What exact document do I need aside from my proof of insurance card AND given the current situation with Covid escalating, from a safety perspective can you see any reason NOT to travel to Costa Rica for the month of Jan? Just looking for an unbiased opinion lol. We would think all hostels or most are following proper safety measures. Thanks again you guys are great!

        1. Hi, I am from the us and are planning on going on vacation the end of Jan. I purchased trip insurance from my travel agent and we just upped the amounts they are requiring. Hope you get to go on your vacation

          1. Hey Susan,

            We are leaving Dec 31st and returning Jan 28th. We are excited but definitely nervous. I think we have done enough research and with common sense we hope not to have any Covid issues and hope for a happy healthy trip! Still have that nervous feeling though! Lol. I hope you have a great time.

        2. Hi Sherry, We have more information on the documentation you need in our post on Entering Costa Rica During Covid. Go to the Insurance section. Basically, you need the policy itself with the applicable language showing coverage or a letter from the insurance company.

          We don’t see any reason not to come in January as of now. Active cases have been leveling off. Hospitalizations are up some, so we will need to keep an eye on that with the holidays approaching. But it is relatively safe here, especially since lots of things are outdoors. Businesses are doing a pretty good job with safety measures, and people wear masks for the most part. You can read our post on What It’s Like Traveling in Costa Rica Right Now for more details.

  67. Jenn and Matt I would like to thank you both for all the info that you supply everyone with. We are planning a week in Quepos Jan 9th to the 16th like we have done for the past several years. I have been told from people I have known in Quepos that it seems to be under control in that area. Knowing the area and with everything outside like fishing and dining do you agree. I was also told the airport has it under control; as long as you have the proper paperwork that is needed. If you can shine any light on what I have been told I would appreciate it. Thanks again for all the info

  68. Merry Xmas Matt and Jenn, I hope you had a great holiday. We are 5 days away from the trip and getting so excited. I have dotted every I and crossed every t in more preparation than usual for an overseas trip.

    My last question ( I hope) is this, what happens if you are traveling to Costa Rica and you end up getting covid there? Of course I’m assuming this won’t happen but do you what the protocols are per the Costa Rican government on such a scenario?

    thanks for your reply.

    1. Once you test positive, your case would be referred to the Ministry of Health. As far as we know, they would issue a sanitary order requiring you to quarantine. Then we think they call to check in on you periodically. If you needed hospital care, as a tourist, you would likely be treated at a private hospital since you would have the mandatory insurance. So far, no tourists have gotten COVID during their travels but that’s generally what we’ve heard will happen.

      1. Thanks again for your speedy responses, Happy New Year to you both and Looking forward to being there to start a new year as well!

  69. My secondary Medicare insurance is Mutual of Omaha. It does cover up to 50,000 dollars when traveling out of the country. How to you get coverage for the 2,000 dollar requirement for extended lodging if you have to quarantine?

    1. Hi Sue Ann, You could check with a local insurance broker in Costa Rica to see the options through INS. They don’t charge extra and can help you figure out if you can get a more limited coverage for just the quarantine piece. One broker that people have had good luck with is Best Insurance- https://www.facebook.com/corredorsegurosprisma/ Otherwise, if you’re in the US, Trawick is an affordable option for both medical and accommodation coverage.

  70. Hello,

    What happens if you test positive in Costa Rica as a tourist? In regards to getting the PCR test in Costa Rica for onwards travel to Canada, what happens as a Canadian citizen if you test positive? I am assuming a 14-day quarantine in CR, but can you quarantine at an Air BNB? And how would you get groceries if you are alone? Also, would you have to wait until your entire 14 day period was over to then go get another PCR test?

    1. Hi Emma, We are not certain of all the particulars but think this is generally what would happen. After the Ministry of Health receives notice of the positive test, you would be issued an isolation order/quarantine for 14 days. You could do this at a hotel or vacation rental – that’s the purposes of the $2,000 accommodation insurance requirement to enter. The Ministry of Health would call to check on you periodically. They have been recovering people after a certain number of days, without doing additional COVID testing, so I don’t think you would get retested later on. So far, no tourists have contracted COVID during their trip so we don’t know how it would play out. But that’s what we know based on the process for citizens and residents of Costa Rica.

  71. Hi there! I am a Canadian looking to travel in the next week or so. I’m a little confused on what insurance to get to meet Costa Rica’s insurance requirements. If I travel with Westjet, their website claims a “No-charge COVID travel insurance” which includes:

    -Emergency medical and hospital costs for travellers visiting Canada that are diagnosed with COVID-19 up to the maximum limit of $200,000 CAD per insured person

    – Quarantine accommodation costs if you test positive for COVID-19 on your trip: up to $150 CAD per insured person (or up to $300/day per immediate family), per day to a maximum of 14 days for travel into or out of Canada

    The second bullet there only covers $2100CAD for accommodation which I assume does not meet Costa Rica’s requirements ($2100USD). Is the best option to supplement this with Sagicor’s Lodging insurance? Which will cost $98 for 14 days according to their website.

    I also have SunLife travel insurance as my benefit provider but haven’t looked into details for COVID insurance.

    What insurance have other Canadians used to travel to Costa Rica?

    1. Hi Aly, You should take a look at our post on Entering Costa Rica During Covid. That has more information about insurance. In the insurance section, we give two companies that Canadians have been using to enter. You can also look at the comments to see what other people have entered with. We just got a comment today from someone who entered using Manulife.

      We’ve heard mixed things about Westjet’s insurance meeting the requirements. Many people have said that it doesn’t, and it doesn’t seem to based on the amount of accomodation coverage, but someone recently posted in the comments that the CR Tourism Board told them it did indeed meet the requirements. See the comment from Karen Sparkes on December 28, 2020. Hope that helps!

  72. Hi Jenn and Matt,

    Firstly thank you for such a comprehensive and calmly explained post – it’s really helped to get my head around the information that’s most relevant (the government pages have a lot of stuff that goes over my head!)

    I wanted to ask you something please. I’m planning a trip that is on a liveaboard boat, offshore for over a week. If one of the people on the boat got Covid, what would we have to do? Would we all have to quarantine on the boat, or would we have to return to shore to drop the person off at a hotel? Or would we all have to return and stay in a hotel? I’ve seen that there was a call for ‘Hotel Aislacion’ from the government – has this scheme started? Would you have to isolate at a particular place?

    Thanks again!

    Emily

    1. Hi Emily, We’re really not sure what the protocol would be for a positive case on a boat. We’d ask the company you’re going out with. But we’d think they wouldn’t make you stay on the boat for the quarantine period and you could stay on land. Since you all would have been exposed to the person who tested positive, you would probably need to quarantine too.

      So far, there haven’t been any cases of tourists getting Covid during their trip that we know of, so they haven’t had to deal with this yet. But the point of requiring the accommodation travel insurance coverage is so that a visitor can quarantine in a hotel or vacation rental if they test positive. I think it can be wherever, and doesn’t have to be a specific hotel/property. Hope that helps!

    1. Hi Bill, We asked a lab in nearby Rio Claro but haven’t heard back yet. If they can do the test, we will reply to this thread. Otherwise, the closest would be Uvita or Quepos. Uvita is about two hours from Golfito.

  73. Thanks so much for all the CoVid information, particularly the information about where to get a CoVid test, how much it costs and how long it takes to get results. My daughter and I are going to San Jose for dental care next Sunday. She will have to have a CoVid test within 72 hrs of returning to her home in Boston, so your info is invaluable. I couldn’t find good info like what you’ve provided anywhere on the internet and it obviously required quite a bit of time in researching it. Many thanks!

      1. Good website!! Do you have some information about the opening of the land borders? We are in Central America actually with a motorcycle.. We hope to go in Costa Rica in 2 months.. Thank you for any information.. Sincerely

  74. Jean & Matt,
    Wonderful information!
    You provide great information about where to get testing done. However, new travel requirements for passengers to be tested prior to flying has been imposed by some countries, including the United States.
    What would happen if one tested positive for covid before leaving Costa Rica and was denied boarding?
    Would they be forced to stay at a specific location?
    Our trip will be covering multiple locations so “isolating where we are” would be an issue. We would have to find a place to quarantine that allows us to wait until we tested negative. Extended stay hotel or AirBnb? How would one go about asking for a business or host to accept a positive tested customer? How would one get food and other supplies?

    Of course, if we did test positive, we would not wish to infect anyone else and WOULD NOT be COVIDIOTS and continue to travel, just extending our trip.
    Even though someone is vaccinated, they can still get covid and the US does not accept vaccination as the same as a negative covid test.

    Thanks in advance,
    William

    1. Hi William, As far as we know, no tourists have tested positive yet so there is no definite answer to how it would all play out. Based on what we know about how it works when a citizen or resident tests positive, you would be be issued a 14 day quarantine order. We think you would get to choose the hotel or vacation rental. For getting supplies, we do have grocery delivery in many areas here, and restaurants offer delivery (it’s called express). The government would help you figure out the logistics. They would call to check on you frequently and we think could help with issues like getting food and supplies.

  75. Thank you so much for the detailed info! We were set to visit this March, but with the CDC’s new order I decided to cancel our family’s trip. It wouldn’t be much of a vacation worrying about getting the test results back in time and rearranging our trip to be close to a testing site. I couldn’t imagine if one of us were to test positive either. Maybe next year!

  76. Hello, I’m glad I found this page, great info so far. Question, I own a vacation rental near Quepos if one of my guest test positive after taking a covid test to fly home to US, they can’t quarantine at my house it’s booked to other groups, are hotels accepting tourist to quarantine for the 2 weeks?

    1. Hi Lilly, We aren’t sure exactly how it would work if a tourist tested positive while visiting, but would assume they could book another hotel or vacation rental. As far as we know, it hasn’t happened yet since no tourists have tested positive.

  77. Hello there,
    Could you let me know if there is any covid restrictions for the month of February in terms of restaurants, NP, activities? It seems a few restrictions were supposed to end in January. Thanks!

    1. Restaurants and national parks will still be at 50% capacity. That didn’t change with the restrictions that were put in place in late December. Bars will go back to 50% capacity (from 25%) unless they extend the restriction, which is unlikely. Beaches currently close at 6 pm. Unless they extend that, which we don’t think will happen, that restriction will expire at the end of January. There will still be vehicle restrictions but rental cars are exempt.

  78. Thanks a lot for the info. Would you say the numbers are stabilized and the country isn’t thinking about banning countries that have big numbers, like the UK for example?

    Thank you so much for updating your website often. It’s super useful!

  79. Thank you for your very informative blog!

    I’m currently in Costa Rica and have stayed past my visa, I was given a 12 day visa as those were my original plans. I’ve now decided to stay about 30 days in total. Have you heard if they are implementing additional fines for overstaying your visa? I was planning on showing them that I purchased the additional days of insurance for my stay and was hoping that would be sufficient.

    If anyone has experience with this during the current restrictions, advice would be much appreciated! 🙂

    1. Hi Genna, They are not currently enforcing fines for overstaying your visa. This is because of Covid. You can find an article explaining more here. You will still have an irregular visa status for overstaying, so this could affect you if you try to reenter later on. I think they could try to collect the fines then. Hope that helps.

    2. Hey Genna, I would love to hear about your experience as you are in country now. My family and I have a trip planned for the first week of April and my inlaws have my husband wanting to postpone. I feel like we are no less safe traveling to Costa Rica than we are here in the US. In fact I feel we have been exposed here even following safety protocols. Would you be able to share anything that might help to ease the fears of traveling to Costa Rica right now?

      1. Hi Melissa, Maybe Genna will chime in but you should read our post about What It’s Like in Costa Rica Right Now. We have been living through it ourselves. Most people are pretty good at wearing a mask and following the protocols. Almost everyone visiting who we have heard from has said that they have felt a lot more comfortable here than back home. In addition, Costa Rica’s current Covid numbers are way down, which is great. Hope that helps.

        1. Hey guys, Thank you for the reply. I did read the blog post and appreciate the good information. Some of the regulations there are the same as we have here. I think we worry about how masks will effect our activities and trip overall. We have a lot of outside activities such as ziplining, white water rafting, cave exploring so I am hopeful that during the activity itself we won’t have to wear them. The other concern is we are a family of 6 and if one of us would test positive during the testing process prior to traveling back home we are nervous about the quarantine process and potentially having to leave a parent and child behind and the rest of the family making the trip home. Dealing with insurance claims and ensuring their isn’t significant financial impact upfront while we wait for the process to occur. All things we are not even sure will come to occur but we have to be mentally prepared for.

  80. Hello. I am getting conflicting information regarding COVID testing before travel to Costa Rica. Your article states that it is no longer a requirement. Can you please verify as I’ve read other that say I need one within 72 hours. Thank you.

      1. Hi my daughter (15) traveled from US to CR, tested positive while in CR, had symptoms on Jan 22, for 2 days after being exposed to someone with CV on Jan 22. She’ has no symptoms and is currently quarantining at hotel, has now been 11 days since symptom onset. She tested positive on the 27th in CR having tested in the US prior to travel (not required). I am trying to find more information on what happens if continues to test positive and needs to travel home; and when will she receive a sanitary written order (10-14 days and from what date does that quarantine begin). How Long should I wait to retest. Thank you for information in advance.

        1. Hi Liza, She should have already received a quarantine order after testing positive. I would call the Covid hotline, 1322 – they should be able to help. I think the quarantine is for 14 days starting from the first positive test date but I’m not 100% sure.

  81. Hello Jenn and Matt
    My wife and I are considering a return to San Jose CR to complete some dental work started last Feb. What guidelines apply if we have had our Covid Vaccine shots and come 2 wks after the 2nd dose?
    Are lodging facilities under reduced occupancy restrictions in the March 2021 period?
    thank you
    David

    1. Hi David, Costa Rica does not require a Covid test to enter. It does require travel insurance even if you have been vaccinated. You can learn more about current entry requirements in another one of our articles here.

      Depending on where you are flying back to, you may need a Covid test on the way out. The US is currently requiring a negative Covid test within 3 calendar days of your flight. This applies even if you have had the vaccine. You can read more about this in our post on Preflight Testing.

      Hotels can operate at 100% capacity now but common areas like the pool and restaurants are at 50%.

    2. I have news for you. My sister works for the Minister of Health and she said the individual would be quarantined at their original residence residence and NOT be moved until quarantine time(14 days) has elapsed or the individual requires hospitalization. Period. Moving person/a could cause risk of contamination. As the renter, you would be totally out of luck with future reservations until you could prove to the Ministaud that the place was decontaminated. Good luck. Just thank God your president (Biden) isn’t running things, They would be able to stay as long as they wanted without paying you..

  82. We are thinking of coming to Costa Rica in August to do the bike pack down the Pacific coast and then up to Arenal. What is the weather usually like in August – is it a bad time? I read conflicting reports!

    1. Hi Antonella, August usually has decent weather but it is rainy season so there will be some rain. Some days, there could be quite a bit depending on exactly where you’re going. But usually it’s heavy rainy for just a couple of hours or so. Here’s a link to our weather post with more information: https://www.twoweeksincostarica.com/weather-costa-rica/

      I would think it would be a decent time to come for biking since it’s not super hot and sunny like other times of year.

  83. Jenn and Matt, we have tickets to fly to Costa Rica from 4-5-21 through 4-20-21 and will have had our Covid vaccinations prior to that time. We had reviewed some of your itinerary information/suggestions in the past when we had previously planned to come but were unable to do so because of the early stages of the pandemic. It appears that it may be safe to go, given our current status, but do you think it would be reasonably safe? Are there areas previously recommended in your 2-week itinerary that would now be less likely to be safe to visit? Any specific new recommendations for a 2-week trip for 2 very healthy and active senior travelers? We are avid birders and would hope to hook up with reliable guides for 1 or 2 day trips if that is feasible. Thanks, David

    1. Hi David, Right now, Costa Rica is experiencing very low Covid numbers. And we expect this to continue through April, as this is dry season when there are fewer illnesses going around in general. You can see the current data with a graph here: https://infogram.com/infografia-situacion-nacional-covid-19-1ho16veq1vw72nq

      There are only a few areas with higher active cases and none of them are included in our two week itinerary. Keep in mind too that because of the weather here, so much is outside where you don’t have to worry as much. Covid protocols are good too, as well as people’s compliance.

      If you are interested in birding, you may want to add a stop in either Monteverde (https://www.twoweeksincostarica.com/monteverde-a-forest-in-the-clouds/) or San Gerardo de Dota (https://www.twoweeksincostarica.com/san-gerardo-de-dota-hideaway-in-cloud-forest/) to see some higher elevation species.

      We hope that helps you decide about your trip.

  84. We are considering a summer trip to CR, and does anyone have any feel for the percentage of travelers, especially Americans, wanting to return home, who test positive for COVID-19?

    Note that I have read that the average real-world false positive PCR test rate is about 0.5%. The total positive test rate would be false positives + true positives.

    It appears that Costa Rica has a current known active infection rate of 0.4%. Of course, this does not take into account untested asymptomatic infections, so the actual active infection rate is probably between 1.0% and 2.0%. Incidentally, a large random study in North Texas in January, 2021 found an active infection rate of about 2%.

    For someone who staying in VRBO rentals, what would be the procedure regarding the Sanitary Orders? For example, we would be a rental house on June 15th, with a departure on June 17th. If one of us tased positive on June 15th, what would the procedure be?

    Also, we would have a group of seven people. If one person tested positive, would the rest of the group have any problem boarding, because they had been exposed to a positive test case?

  85. We have been trying for a few days to contact hospital in Huacus and call gets put on hold then drops. The other number just drops right away. We’ve filled out epidemiology form but need to make an appointment. What do you suggest? Thank you

    1. You could contact them through Facebook messenger for help. Usually they only book appointments for the Hospital Metropolitano San José locations but maybe they can put you right through to the Huacas location. They are very responsive on FB Messenger. Good luck! You could also ask your hotel for help if you really can’t get the appointment made. They should be able to call for you.

  86. Tico Times: Why Costa Rica is re-applying driving restrictions (4/16/21)
    https://ticotimes.net/2021/04/16/why-costa-rica-is-re-applying-driving-restrictions

    Excerpt:

    Given the accelerated increase in Covid-19 cases, the high rate of reproduction of the virus, the limited hospital capacity and the circulation of new variants of the virus, this Thursday authorities announced the new application of the sanitary vehicle restriction by plates at the end of week, starting this Saturday, April 17 and Sunday, April 18.

    In a month, infections and the number of hospitalized people doubled, while the number of deceased people has also increased, an upward trend that is evidenced in this week’s data and that this growth is projected to continue. Today there were more than 1,100 new positives for COVID-19 and 498 hospitalized people. . . .

    In recent days, ICU occupancy has reached up to 90%. Added to the above is an increase in the number of consultations for cough and fever symptoms throughout the country; this is an indicator of a greater circulation of respiratory viruses such as COVID-19.

    Mario Ruiz, medical manager of the CCSS explained the increase in hospitalizations: “We are treating patients for other illnesses, traffic accidents, firearm injuries and surgeries; patients who may also require an intensive care unit. Hospital pressure is increasing every day, it increases between 10 and 20 patients due to COVID-19 every day.”

    Currently the R rate (virus reproduction) is 1.41. This data means that 2 sick people will, on average, infect practically another 3. In a short time this growth could lead to a health and socioeconomic emergency of a level the country has not faced during this pandemic. These data collected and analyzed by scientists from different disciplines indicate that it is mandatory to take immediate measures to avoid hospital saturation and thus save lives.

  87. Hi Jenn and Matt, in some ways I feel like this is deja’ vu. We were supposed to visit Costa Rica in July 2020 and last May we rescheduled our trip to July 2021. As we get to closer to our trip again I have been keeping an eye on what has been going on in Costa Rica. The case counts over the last two weeks are not very encouraging, especially today, and it looks like restrictions are starting to be needed again. Hopefully Costa Rica is able to avoid the major spikes occurring in Brazil and some other nearby countries. My wife and I have been fortunate to get fully vaccinated, but our children (9 and 11) are still too young to receive the vaccine. As you probably saw Costa Rica has a Level 4 Travel Advisory now, which apparently is being applied to most of the world. But this new information is making us cautious again. Do you have any sense of the current trajectory and how safe it is to be in Costa Rica over the next few months? Is the P1 variant showing up on positive tests. I know the country is trying to balance conquering COVID, but also keeping their economy viable. Does this recent spike appear to be something that will worsen? Like most we were hoping a year later this wouldn’t still be a difficult decision. Thanks for any insight you can provide.

    1. Hi Michael, We feel the same way and hope that this will be a quick spike then settle back down again. They have directly correlated the increase in cases to Semana Santa/Easter Week. That is a huge holiday here when families get together for several days. People have let their guard down since our numbers were so good for so long, but the government has been working hard to get people to pay attention again and follow the health protocols. There is a big push right now in the news and on social media about getting the numbers back down. Costs Ricans are a very law abiding people overall so I think it will improve.

      They have also restricted driving so it’s back to us only being able to drive one day on the weekend based on plate numbers (this doesn’t apply to rental cars). This is to cut down on parties. They moved the driving curfew up to 9 pm everyday, which means that all businesses have to close at that time too. They have hinted at additional restrictions coming this week. We will update this post as things progress. We don’t think they will let it get out of control – they are very concerned about the public health care system getting saturated. But they do want to keep as much open as possible for the economy. By July, we should be in better shape, hopefully.

      I hope that gives you an idea of what’s going on. And, yes, they detected the first couple of cases of the P1 variant in April.

  88. Hello again Matt & Jenn!

    I have been checking your posts and comment sections frequently due to the continuously changing situation in Costa Rica with Covid 19 . My boyfriend and I are scheduled to come down May 10th-19th. I am concerned that because of the record number of cases and nearly full ICU, that there will be many restrictions coming and I’m wondering if it’s potential that the borders will close? I’m questioning if we should post pone our vacation due to it being such a short amount of time away and the likelihood of things being better by then. I want to enjoy my first time in Costa Rica worry free but I’m worried that it won’t be possible with the current situation. Any feedback on this matter would be helpful; would be thankful to have an insider tip on if anyone will even be allowed in the country within the next two weeks if the cases continue to rise. Thank you so much for not only being so responsive, but also keeping people like myself in the loop about everything pura vida!

    1. Hi Meghan, Today they announced new restrictions but they are only for the area around San José and only for next week. All non essential businesses will be closed. This doesn’t affect the rest of the country. The numbers have not been getting better so there could be additional restrictions announced next week or the week after but we do not expect them to close the borders. The Ministry of Health has said before that tourists are not the problem. It’s more likely that they will close schools temporarily or impose other measures that mostly affect people who live here. Operational hours of businesses could change (right not they have to close at 9pm). But it’s really hard to say what will happen. We had a large spike around Christmas and everyone was very worried about hospitalizations but it leveled off quickly. They also just announced that they are ramping up the vaccination effort and moving into the next eligible group in some areas. I hope that helps you decide what to do about your trip! If it makes you feel better, we are supposed to have family come visit from the US at just about the same time and we are still thinking it will happen.

  89. My family and I are considering a trip to CR in July. We are looking forward to it, but my biggest concern is preflight testing to return to the US. Does anyone know any rates of positive testing for tourists departing CR? How often does it happen? Just trying to guage the chances. Thanks!

    1. Hi Brooks, Since antigen/rapid testing is not included in the government’s data on Covid (because it is only approved for travel purposes and not for detecting active infections when people go for testing because they think they have Covid), we don’t have an exact number. But from what we have been hearing, it doesn’t happen that often that a tourist tests positive.

  90. Thank you for your response Jenn and Matt! We actually had no choice but to cancel the trip due to us contracting Covid. My boyfriend and I won’t both be out of isolation until the day we’re supposed to leave. Guess it wasn’t meant to be! We are planning to come.down at the end of August! Are we risking the weather being horrible because it’s so close to the heaviest rain months? Thanks again!

  91. Hi Jenn and Matt,

    Thanks so much for posting about this. My husband and I are planning on being in Costa Rica from May 21-May 25 (flying in through SJO and spending most of our time in La Fortuna). We have been reading about the recent COVID spike and are a bit concerned. Do you think things should be alright by the time we get there? Or would you recommend rescheduling our trip for next year?

    1. Hi Fatima, We will likely still be experiencing this spike when you’re supposed to come. But we don’t expect the government to impose restrictions that would affect tourists. So if you are comfortable traveling, we think it would be fine.

  92. Hi
    We are planning a week long trip to celebrate a couple of High School graduations – 6/1 – 6/8…I am concerned about businesses and tours being closed if the spike continues. We are flying into Liberia – going inland an hour or so and then back out to the beach area. Thoughts on if it’s better to postpone and let the spike settle? It will be the first time in CR for the kids. BTW I have used your tips & aadvice to plan most of our trip!! Thank you

    1. Hi Anne, Glad that our site has been helpful with your planning! We will probably still be experiencing this wave when you are here in early June. But we don’t expect them to implement restrictions that will impact tourism very much. The restrictions they have in place now affect people who live here and have been narrowly tailored. The only restrictions that affect tourists right now is national parks have to be at 50% capacity and hotels with more than 100 rooms have to be at 75% capacity. This really isn’t an issue, though, since it is slower here right now because of the pandemic. Last week they had business closures but it was only in the greater metropolitan area around San José since that is where most of the cases are. I don’t think you will feel it too much in Guanacaste. Hope that helps!

  93. If the CR government requires travel insurance in case tourists get covid, what good is it if their hospitals and ICU’s are at full capacity and as the minister of health said at the “brink of collapse”?

    1. If a tourist needed hospitalization because of Covid, I’m sure that the Costa Rica government would find a way to treat them. They are working with private hospitals now to make more beds available. Also, there have been very few cases of tourists needing hospitalization since they opened borders in August. It is not tourists that are causing this current wave; it’s locals.

  94. Apart from COVID, what if a tourist suffers an ordinary travel malady or injury? Food poisoning, snakebite, hiking blisters, fall off a horse, hit by a car, etc. Given the pandemic-surge strain, does the healthcare system (public/private) still have capacity to treat *those* situations?

    1. Hi Phillip, Yes, it is just the Covid-specific ICU units that are saturated. There is still plenty of capacity for other types of hospitalizations in both public and private hospitals.

  95. My wife and I are/were planning to travel to Costa Rica at the end of May with our three unvaccinated kids (6, 3, and 2). I have a chronic heart condition, but my wife and I are both vaccinated. We just heard the schools are shutting down. Any reason we should not postpone?

    1. Hi Matt, If you’re not comfortable traveling, then you may want to postpone. Yes, public schools closed until July. We are experiencing record cases and hospitalizations. It is definitely possible to still have a really nice vacation, though. We just spent a weekend at a hotel in Manuel Antonio for work and felt very comfortable because they had excellent Covid protocols – we are all still waiting to be vaccinated and are very cautious when we travel. Restaurants and most activities are open air here so you can really limit your risk. But if you think you’ll be worried the whole time, it’s probably better to postpone so that you can enjoy it.

  96. Hi – Have you heard anything “new” in terms of tourists getting COVID and then quarantining. I’m mainly concerned for my son (21 years) and girlfriend (20 years) who will be joining me for a couple of weeks and then going home while I travel in CR a bit longer. If only one tested positive, could they stay together? Or, would one have to go home while the other stayed. I’m sure they would figure it out either way….I’m just being a “mom”! THANKS.

    1. Hi Susan, We still have not heard of any tourist being issued a quarantine order so it seems they may not be doing them for tourists. Of course, you still need a negative test to reenter many countries, like the US and Canada. If one were to test positive and be required to quarantine, the other would be able to stay with them since they would have been in contact with the person who tested positive and could still test positive later on from the exposure, I would think. But again, this is an unlikely chain of events so try not to worry too much 🙂

  97. Hi, We planned to travel to Costa Rica on July 1st. We made plans in April. But now since there is a big Covid case surge we are wondering what should we do. We reserved a nice house on the beach so we wont’ be in a hotel. We will get off at San Jose airport and then stay one night there before we drive to Osa peninsula in the morning of July 2nd. Any advice? Should we still go? or cancel?

    1. Hi TJ, The surge is starting to come down and the government still has the driving restrictions in place for locals, so the situation should keep improving. They have also really ramped up the vaccination process in the last month. Most of the cases are in the San José área and it sounds like you won’t be spending much time there. So we think it is fine if you still come. Many people are still traveling (we have a lot of clients coming in July). We have a trip planned ourselves within Costa Rica un a couple of weeks. It’s fairly easy to stay safe here since much of the activities and restaurants are outside. I hope that information helps you decide!

  98. We are scheduled to be in Costa Rica thee first part of July. I am noticing that some attractions on Tripadvisor and other sites have notices saying “temporarily closed”. Are there many tours and attractions that are closed due to this outbreak? We are staying near Arenal and Rincon de la Viego and a couple beach hotels at Portrero and Jaco. Are there major outbreaks in these areas? I am having a hard time finding area statistics. We are flying into SJO and that looks to be heart of the outbreak. Should we try to stay out of the area? Thanks!

    1. Hi CJ, Just about everything is open now as far as activities and attractions. Some businesses closed permanently but not too many. Yes, most of the cases are in the San José área. Here is a link where you can see active cases by canton (county). The government updates it almost daily. Jaco is Garabito, Arenal is San Carlos, Rincon is Liberia, and Potrero is Santa Cruz. San Carlos and Liberia do have a lot of cases but keep in mind that these are huge cantons. I think the Liberia cases are mostly in the city of Liberia, whereas Rincon is farther in the country. I hope that helps give you a better idea.

  99. We plan to travel to CR in mid July – in covering all my bases I was wondering what happens if I test positive (most likely at the airport right before my returning flight…) and have to extend my stay 2 weeks – is it hard to find a hotel that will allow a positive Covid person to stay the two weeks?

    1. Hi Doug, We have heard that the government is not really issuing quarantine orders to tourists. If you were issued one, you would be able to stay wherever you wanted. I don’t think they can prevent someone who tested positive from coming.

  100. This is a super helpful page guys. Keep up the good work. We are traveling to CR – Ojochal area on June 26. Landing in SJO and renting a car/driving to Ojochal. The way timings work out, we might be hitting the 9 pm deadline for the driving curfew? If for any reason we go 10-15 mins beyond the 9 pm deadline, how strict is the enforcement? Would they be willing to understand that we are traveling long distance and tried our best to be there on time.

    1. Hi CJ, You would just need to show your plane ticket and reservation for the rental in Ojochal. If you’re coming in from a flight, you’re exempt from the driving restriction hours. We just had to do this ourselves since we had a flight arrive in the evening. No problems.

  101. Great website! How do YOU think it is to travel to Costa Rica now? Our hotel in Quepos says “not bad” but CDC says level 4. AND…anywhere to get a LOWER nose swab test (no further than 4 cm in nose) or saliva test? I am looking for a test that does not go DEEP in nose. This is a make-or-break point for us. Thank you!

    1. Hi Jan, Cases in Costa Rica overall are trending down. Most are in the San José área. I actually agree with phrasing Quepos as not bad. Right now there are 665 active cases there, with a population of around 30,000.

      They don’t go as deep for the antigen test. We’re not sure how many cm, but you could ask one of the labs. Saliva tests are not available here.

  102. Hi guys, just found your page during my research on moving to Costa Rica-Pavones hopefully. We live in Australia and are looking at places we may be able to move to if Australia goes down a mandatory vaccine approach which is appearing to be the case more and more. Anyway, thanks for a great blog! I have so much to read. In your opinion, do you think the CR Gov will push vaccines or just go along a free choice approach? Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Emma, Costa Rica hadn’t made vaccines mandatory and hasn’t indicated that it will in the future. It could very well make them mandatory for children to be in school, though. Costa Rica has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world and most locals are pro vaccines in general, so I think it will have a high vaccination rate for Covid as well. It currently isn’t mandatory for tourists entering the country; you just have to show Covid travel insurance. They did just remove the insurance requirement for vaccinated adults, though, which is interesting. Best of luck with your plans!

  103. Hi Jen and Matt. Thank you for the great info! We have refundable tickets for Oct 9th and will be traveling the Caribbean coast Have you heard of the covid test at the SJ airport is a good way to go? The website says to make an appt, go 4 hrs before your flight, and have results within an hour. That would be the least interruption for our vacation plans. Also, how full are the hospitals and ICUs? We are all vaccinated, but will cancel if hospitals are full (in case of other emergencies) And I read anywhere from 20% to 40% vaccinated…I’m not sure which is correct. Thank you for all the great info.

    1. Hi Laura, Yes, if you are ending on the Caribbean side, we would do the COVID test at the airport or in San José at s lab. The airport testing is very efficient and we have heard it is going very smoothly.

      A few public hospitals are getting full but that is not the case at private hospitals, which is where you would want to be treated in case of emergency. The private hospitals do not take many COVID patients. We’d recommend travel insurance to cover you.

      Currently, about 25% is fully vaccinated. 60% has had one shot. Costa Rica was spacing out doses 12 weeks to get more people one dose so that has slowed full vaccinations. Although last week, they changed it to eight weeks so the month of September will be a big one for getting many people their second dose. I hope that helps give you a better idea!

  104. Hi there,
    Any updates on the Nomad Visa? The last thing that was widely reported was the president’s signing of the new law. I have not hear anything after that….
    No word on the details as to when and how people can apply for it.
    By the way, you should have a YT channel, your information here is found gold, and I hope you find a way to cash it (:

    Thanls

  105. Hi mate great site!
    Was wondering if you could give an update on the situation around Tamarindo/Samara beach regards level of covid cases n restrictions.
    Planning to move there around December.
    Thanks

    1. Hi Pablo, The restrictions are the same countrywide, but people tend to be more lax about them in beach towns like Tamarindo.

      You can check current cases with this link, which the government updates almost every day. Currently in the Tamarindo and Samara areas, there are 2,252 cases (Santa Cruz canton where Tamarindo is located) and 1,556 (Nicoya canton where Samara is located). That is for the whole canton (county) so covers several towns.

  106. Hi Jenn and Matt, we are Daphne and Frank from The Netherlands. We already visited CR three times (2009, 2013 and last time in 2017 with our grown-up children). Our next visit is already postponed twice and is now planned for December. We can find a lot of information about traveling to CR and Covid, many thanks for that. However, we would like to have more info about traveling from Europe (NL). We have booked a flight from Amsterdam-Panama-SJO (KLM-COPA Airlines). Are there any restrictions/extra precautions we have to think of entering CR like this?
    We will have a rental car and wondered if we can travel freely like we used to do and visit your beautiful counry and NPs? Many thanks and Pura Vda.

    1. Hi Frank, You should confirm, but we think that if you are only transiting through Panama, you just need to show a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of your flight. We don’t know of any other requirements, and Costa Rica doesn’t have any special requirements for those entering the country via Panama.

      Yes, rental cars are exempt from the driving restrictions. You should still abide by the driving curfew, though. Currently this does not allow driving from 10:00 pm-5:00 am. We hope you had a great trip and get to come this time!

  107. Hi there! Thank you for your wealth of information. I see your note on the shuttle booking page recommending waiting to book shuttles until close to the travel dates due to the ups and downs of covid travel things and that availability is not an issue. Thank you for sharing this! We plan to travel in high season December 29-January 27. I feel a little worried to wait too long to arrange a couple of shuttles we plan to use. It looks like I would only be out a $20 fee if we have to cancel. Do you think even traveling in this busy time, it would be ok to wait to book shuttles?

    1. Hi Lacy, We would book shuttles for those dates in the next couple of months. Like you said, it’s high season and the shuttles do book up some years for around Christmas and New Years. We will update our shuttle page to reflect this. Thanks for pointing it out!

  108. Hi Jenn and Matt.

    Thanks for so much helpful information. We will be staying at the Tamarindo Diria in early November. Our only concern, although we are vaccinated, is if we contract Covid while we are there. What is the best (private) hospital for treating Covid in the area? Do you know if they have monoclonal antibody treatment in Costa Rica? I was not able to find it anywhere in CR.

    Is it better to get our PCR Covid test before returning to the U.S. at/near the hotel or at the LIR airport? If we should be tested near the hotel, can you please recommend a test site near the hotel? I really appreciate all of your help.

    1. Hi Lisa, Costa Rica set up a special hospital in San José (CEACO) to treat Covid patients early on in the pandemic so that is where people go for the best treatment with the best doctors. It is a public hospital. They also treat people at other public hospitals around the country and private hospitals when the public hospitals are saturated (rarely). Most of the good private hospitals (Cima, Clinica Bíblica) are located in San José. There is a private hospital in Liberia near Tamarindo but we don’t know much about it.

      There are great private clinics and also a satellite location of a private hospital called Hospital Metropolitano near Tamarindo for general medical help.

      I’m not sure if Costa Rica has that specific Covid treatment.

      It is easy to get the Covid test right at LIR Airport. Results for the antigen test are provided in one hour. The PCR takes a little longer. There are also testing sites near Tamarindo. Here’s a link to our post Where to Get a Covid Test in Costa Rica with more info.

  109. Hi Jenn and Matt,

    Thank you for your super informative posts. We are planning to travel to CR and one information we can’t easily find is about the accommodation in case someone tests positive before the return flight. If one person of the family were to test positive, would we have a choice of accomodation where to do the quarantine as a family (AirBnb for example) or does CR designate hotels where we would have to go?
    Thank you very much for your help.

    1. Hi Olga, Costa Rica does not designate hotels for you to do the quarantine. We had a client test positive and they stayed at an Airbnb in Manuel Antonio for the 10 days. It depends on the circumstances but only the person who tested positive (and their parent) had to stay to quarantine in that case. The rest of the family who tested negative could leave.

  110. Any advice on how to get quarentine lodging if needed. I will check out of my lodging and if i test positive how do I find lodging? I would think hotels would turn me away? Help? and it would be early march which is a busy time.

    1. Hi Janice, I don’t hotels or vacation rentals would turn you away if you needed to quarantine there. I don’t think they can legally. We just came out with a post about testing positive in Costa Rica. Here is the link.

      1. If you have a way to send an english version of the quarentine order i would appreciate it very much i cant fiugue out how to do it thanks janice

  111. Hi Jen & Matt,

    we planned a trip to Costa Rica end of February as part of our parental leave time.
    We are travelling with our 10-month old daughter and with Omicron spreading quickly, I am concerned and quite unsure whether to cancel the trip. Would you still consider Costa Rica as a “safe” country to travel to with a baby in these times? Are there any pediatricians in the areas of Alajuela, Fortuna, Monteverde, Jacó & Quepos (those are the stops on our route) to guarantee health care provision for our daughter in case she gets infected. Or would this be done in a normal clinic or health care center? Many thanks upfront

    1. Hi Sandra, Most activities and restaurants are outdoors so you can stay safe if you’re careful. We would recommend renting a car and staying in Airbnbs to avoid contact with people. We just finished a ten day trip with our family and consider it low risk since we kept mostly to ourselves and did private tours or tours where we weren’t close to anyone.

      Yes, there are very good private medical clinics in all those areas. They are general practitioners but can treat kids if needed. They would also be able to help you figure out where to go if she needed more medical care.

  112. Hi Jenn & Matt, thank you very much for all the time you spend keeping this site up to date. I’ve been in Costa Rica for four weeks now. As a Canadian (this post is mostly for Canadians because of entry requirements) we must have a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure or a positive PCR test result which must have been taken between 11 and 180 days prior to arriving at the Canadian border. I tested positive on an at-home rapid antigen test on January 27 and quarantined. On the sixth day I repeated the test and it was still positive. I should have had a PCR test done on January 27 but I wasn’t aware of all the information in this post. I had the PCR test done on February 1, I received my positive result today along with my sanitation order to quarantine from February 2 (the date after the test) for seven days. It says it ends on February 8 so I’m assuming I’m free to go out starting February 9. The reason I did the PCR test is that I’ve read people have tested positive on PCR tests for weeks after recovering from covid. If I had waited until 72 hours prior to my flight I might have still tested positive even if testing negative on a rapid antigen test. All this is to say if you an at-home test and it’s positive get a PCR test right away and start your quarantine period. Unfortunately for me the six days I had already quarantined don’t count since it was an at-home test. $125 sounds like a lot for the test but if you get a surprise positive test 72 hours before flying home Canada will not let you return for 11 days after you test positive which could be a big expense with hotel, food, changing tickets etc.

  113. During quarantine has anyone be allowed out of their room masked?the travel insurance I’m considering using,, Allianz, requires you to see a Dr within 72 hours in order f9r your coverage to be valid to reimburse you for accomodations. . Has any else experienced this? If you were not n wuarantime did your hotel allow you out of your room for any reason at all?

    1. Hi Marcy, The quarantine order would prohibit you from leaving your hotel room. You could probably arrange for a doctor to come to your hotel for the required doctor’s exam. Some doctors do home visits in Costa Rica.

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