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Details: Decree lifts entry bans for Costa Rica residents

August 16, 2020

The official government newspaper, La Gaceta, has published a decree officially lifting Costa Rica’s entry bans for permanent and temporary residents.

Until Friday, residents who had left Costa Rica after March 25 were unable to return to the country. That entry impediment no longer applies.

“In the case of people who have an entry impediment, … if they meet the listed requirements, this impediment will be lifted and the entry of the foreign person will be allowed,” the decree reads.

In summary, residents can enter Costa Rica via air from any country and be allowed in. A 14-day quarantine will be required. However, the quarantine requirement will be waived for residents entering from one of the 44 authorized countries — if they have remained there for at least 14 days — who have a negative PCR-RT coronavirus test from a sample taken within 48 hours of the flight.

The other requirements for all incoming residents are as follows:

Costa Rican citizens, who have never faced any entry impediments, can now avoid a 14-day quarantine via the same method:

  • Arriving via air directly from one of the 44 authorized countries, and must have remained in an authorized country for 14 days before the flight to Costa Rica.
  • Showing proof of a negative coronavirus test (PCR-RT) from a sample taken within 48 hours of the flight.
  • Completing the Health Pass.

Citizens don’t need to show proof of Caja payments and won’t be denied entry on that basis.

People with residency applications in process, and foreigners who own property/businesses in Costa Rica must meet the entry requirements as tourists.

Entry requirements for tourists

Tourists must meet the following requirements in order to enter Costa Rica:

  • They must come via air directly from one of the 44 authorized countries, and must have remained in an authorized country for 14 days before the flight to Costa Rica.
    • This means a Portuguese tourist can come on a flight with a layover in Spain, as both are authorized countries. But a Canadian tourist may be denied if he has a layover in the United States.
  • They must purchase a valid travel insurance plan, either through a Costa Rican insurer or foreign provider.
  • They must provide proof of a negative PCR-RT coronavirus test from a sample taken within 48 hours of the flight.

Summary: Entry impediments lifted

Costa Rica residents who left the country after March 25 can now realistically return — whether on a commercial flight from an authorized country or on a repatriation flight from anywhere else.

Click here to read the full decree in La Gaceta. (Link downloads a PDF in Spanish.) If you want a law office’s take, click here to read a summary from Outlier Legal.

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