The official government newspaper, La Gaceta, has published the decree officially maintaining Costa Rica’s border restrictions through August 1, 2020.
The decree extends the ban on arriving tourists until 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, August 1. In addition, it extends the reentry ban until that date for non-citizen residents who left the country after March 25.
Until August 2, the following people can legally enter Costa Rica:
- Costa Rican citizens.
- Residents, non-residents with estancias, special categories or those with residency applications in process who last left the country before 11:59 p.m. on March 25, 2020.
- Certain exceptions for non-resident foreigners, including air crews, diplomats, and the immediate family of Costa Rican citizens. Click here for full details.
“The validity of this measure will be reviewed and analyzed by the Executive Power in accordance with the epidemiological behavior of COVID-19,” the decree reads.
While Costa Rica has repeatedly extended its border restrictions, President Carlos Alvarado said August 1 is a “firm date” in order to help the country’s economic recovery through tourism.
However, more recent comments from the Health Ministry warning that Costa Rica’s intensive-care capacity is at risk of saturation could realistically change the country’s international reopening plans.
If Costa Rica indeed adheres to an August 2 reopening for international tourism, it will do so by welcoming visitors only from certain countries. That list of countries — and what protocols will be in place when tourists enter Costa Rica — has not yet been announced.
Currently, almost everyone legally entering Costa Rica through August 1 is issued a 14-day home isolation order.
You can read the decree in its entirely (and in Spanish) by clicking here. (Link downloads a PDF.)
Measures in place for foreigners
Foreigners who entered Costa Rica on a tourist visa after December 17, 2019, can legally remain in Costa Rica until August 18, 2020, according to the Immigration Administration.
The Immigration Administration has also said it will not enforce penalties for people who have an irregular immigration status because of the coronavirus crisis.
To better accommodate tourists in Costa Rica, the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) is allowing visitors who entered the country after December 17, 2019 to drive with a valid foreign driver’s license until July 17.