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News briefs: Costa Rica continues to be country of choice for Swiss visitors

The coronavirus crisis has transformed life in Costa Rica, which has enacted measures to protect the capacity of its health system.

Here’s what you should know as a new day starts in Costa Rica:

Costa Rica still ‘my paradise,’ visitors say

A pair of Swiss visitors were among the first to arrive in Costa Rica after the country reopened its borders to international guests.

Ruth and Andreas Perracini are no strangers to Costa Rica. The couple first visited the Central American country 33 years ago, on their honeymoon, and are now in the process of purchasing a house.

“Here we feel safe,” Ruth said, calling a terrace surrounded by birds of paradise flowers “my paradise.”

We don’t have to be afraid if we’re here.” 

While Ruth and Andreas’s story is an encouraging harbinger for the potential reactivation of Costa Rica’s tourism industry, that may still be many months away. Costa Rica is currently welcoming a limited number of flights from a limited number of countries, and visitors must meet several requirements before entering.

Update on Costa Rica flights

According to Aeris, the company that operates Juan Santamaría International Airport, the following airlines plan to fly to SJO in the coming weeks:

  • Air Canada on Sept. 12 to/from Toronto.
  • Air France on Oct. 14 to/from Paris.
  • American Airlines will offer repatriation flights to/from Dallas on August 20 and 27.
  • Avianca on Sept. 1 to El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama and Peru.
  • British Airways on October 27.
  • Copa Airlines will offer repatriation flights throughout August.
  • Delta Air Lines on September 18 to/from Atlanta.
  • Edelweiss on October 15 to/from Zurich.
  • Iberia and Lufthansa have already resumed flights (Madrid and Frankfurt).
  • Southwest in 2021.
  • Spirit will offer a repatriation flight on August 28.
  • United Airlines will offer repatriation flights 3x weekly through August.
  • Volaris will offer repatriation flights to/from Mexico City on August 25 and 29.
  • Wingo on Sept. 1 to Panama and Colombia.

It’s important to note that these dates are subject to change due to the current complexities of international travel. For instance, Wingo will not operate its route to Colombia until Costa Rica authorizes commercial flights from the South American country.

Costa Rica currently allows visitors (via commercial flights) from 44 countries. Click here for a full list. Authorities will adjust the list every two weeks; the latest changes were made August 13.

Contact the respective embassy or airline for further information on repatriation flights.


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