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These are the requirements to enter Costa Rica as a tourist

September 29, 2020

Costa Rica is currently welcoming tourists from select countries and U.S. states.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Costa Rica has an expanded list of entry requirements for foreign visitors. While the rules are relatively straightforward, they have still created confusion, and Costa Rica has turned away people who didn’t meet the guidelines.

More recently, passengers have reported that United Airlines is misinterpreting Costa Rica’s requirements and denying boarding to otherwise qualified travelers.

“It is possible that [requirements] were confused, and we apologize if there was any misinformation,” the airline said.

So let’s make it clear to United Airlines and to travelers. Here are are the requirements to fly into Costa Rica on a commercial flight as a tourist.

Tourists must come from an authorized country/state

  • UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: 
    • As of Sept. 1, 2020: Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
    • As of Sept. 15, 2020: Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington and Wyoming.
    • As of Oct. 1, 2020: California and Ohio.
  • CANADA for citizens and residents
  • MEXICO for citizens and residents
  • THE EUROPEAN UNION SCHENGEN ZONE
  • UNITED KINGDOM
  • SOUTH AMERICA: for citizens and residents of Uruguay.
  • THE CARIBBEAN: for citizens and residents of Jamaica.
  • ASIA: for citizens and residents of Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, and the People’s Republic of China.
  • OCEANIA: for citizens and residents of Australia and New Zealand.

U.S. citizens must prove their residency via State ID or driver’s license. Those coming from a country that isn’t the United States must have resided there for 14 days.

Tourists must meet the following requirements

  • Fill out the electronic epidemiological HEALTH PASS form, available at https://salud.go.cr. Airlines may require this to be completed in the 48 hours before you board the flight to Costa Rica.
  • RT-PCR diagnostic test with a negative result; the sample must have been taken within 72 hours of departure from the country/state of origin. Results must be in English or Spanish.
  • Traveler’s Medical Insurance: International or purchased in Costa Rica through the National Insurance Institute (INS) or Sagicor, covering the duration of your stay in Costa Rica.

The INS and Sagicor policies are pre-approved and guaranteed to be accepted by Costa Rican authorities. If you choose to purchase an international policy, it must have:

  • Guaranteed coverage of medical expenses in the event of becoming ill with COVID-19 while in Costa Rica, for at least $50,000 USD.
  • Minimum coverage of $2,000 USD for lodging expenses issued as a result of the pandemic.

Questions, clarifications, and more information on entry requirements

The Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) lists all the current entry requirements for tourists on its website. Click here for the official page.

Tourists with further questions should contact ICT at: seguros@ict.go.cr.

Residents and Costa Rican citizens do not need to present an RT-PCR test or travel insurance to enter Costa Rica. Questions should be directed to the Costa Rican Embassy or Consulate.

Summary: Costa Rica entry requirements for tourists

Foreign tourists wishing to visit Costa Rica must:

  • Come from an approved country or state.
  • Complete the Health Pass online form.
  • Show proof of a negative coronavirus test, from a sample taken within 72 hours of departure.
  • Purchase valid travel medical insurance.

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