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Costa Rica authorizes tourism from the entire United States

October 2, 2020

Costa Rican authorities on Friday announced that residents of the entire United States, regardless of their state of residence, will be allowed to visit the country starting November 1.

Other requirements to enter Costa Rica as a tourist — including a negative PCR coronavirus test and insurance — remain unchanged.

“This will allow us to reactivate tourism so that companies can work, at least, above the equilibrium point during the high season, which runs from November 2020 to May 2021,” said Tourism Minister Gustavo Segura.

In addition, as of October 15, Florida, Georgia and Texas will also be added to Costa Rica’s list of authorized states for U.S. tourism. That means residents of those states can visit Costa Rica in mid-October.

According to Segura, the past two months have shown international tourism can help reactivate the economy while remaining a relatively low coronavirus risk. Since Costa Rica reopened its airports to select locations in August, no COVID-19 cases have been associated with foreign tourists.

The Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) says that despite Costa Rica opening to visitors from all U.S. states, the pandemic and entry requirements will limit passenger volume to 35-40% compared to previous years.

Of the 3,139,008 international visitors to Costa Rica in 2019, more than half (1,666,571) came from North America. Some 1.3 million tourists came from the United States, more than any other country by far.

Friday’s news means Costa Rica will accept tourists from all of North America — the United States, Canada and Mexico — as of November 1.

Requirements for tourists entering Costa Rica

Tourists wishing to enter Costa Rica via a flight must comply with these requirements:

  • Complete the online “Health Pass” epidemiological form: https://salud.go.cr.
  • Show proof of a negative PCR test for the coronavirus. The sample for the test must have been taken no more than 72 hours before departure.
  • Obtain travel insurance. This can be either a pre-approved Costa Rican policy from INS or Sagicor, or an international policy that covers COVID-19 medical expenses of at least $50,000 and $2,000 for lodging.

Tourists must have remained in an authorized country for at least 14 days before travel.

Until November 1, U.S. residents must show a driver’s license or State ID indicating they live in an authorized state. As of November 1, this will no longer be necessary, as all U.S. states will be authorized.

Requirements for citizens and residents

Citizens and residents can legally return to Costa Rica via a flight from anywhere.

Here are the entry requirements for citizens:

Here are the entry requirements for residents (permanent, temporary, special categories or estancias):

  • Complete the Health Pass.
  • Present a valid DIMEX card.
  • Have proof of current payment into the Caja OR have travel insurance that covers COVID-19 with a minimum coverage of 22 days.

Citizens and residents are issued a 14-day quarantine upon their arrival in Costa Rica. However, they are exempted from the isolation order if they come from an approved country/U.S. state and obtained a negative PCR coronavirus test prior to travel.

Coronavirus in Costa Rica

As of Friday, Costa Rica has confirmed 77,829 coronavirus cases and 930 deaths.

Costa Rica is adding adding cases at a faster rate per 100,000 residents than nearly all other countries, according to data compiled by The New York Times.

62% of the country’s ICU beds and 36% of the country’s moderate-care beds are occupied by coronavirus patients; Costa Rica has not saturated its public health system at any time during the pandemic.

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