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Costa Rica to eliminate coronavirus test requirement for tourists

October 22, 2020

Costa Rica will soon eliminate the negative coronavirus test requirement for foreign tourists, authorities announced Thursday.

Beginning on October 26, arriving visitors will no longer need to show proof of a negative PCR coronavirus test result, Tourism Minister Gustavo Segura said.

The change comes nearly three months after Costa Rica first reopened its airports to international guests. Since then, international tourism “has not been a source of COVID-19 contagion,” Segura said.

The decision also follows an early-October recommendation from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) which states that conducting coronavirus testing for incoming travelers “is not recommended as a tool to mitigate the risk of international spread.”

Visitors to Costa Rica will still need to purchase travel medical insurance and complete the Health Pass epidemiological form. The insurance must be either a policy from INS or Sagicor — both Costa Rican companies — or a foreign policy that covers COVID-19 medical expenses and extended lodging.

Tourists do not need to quarantine upon entering Costa Rica.

In addition to the relaxed requirements for visitors, as of October 26, Costa Rican citizens returning to the country via a flight will not be issued a 14-day quarantine.

Costa Rica currently welcomes tourists from more than 40 countries, including Canada, Mexico, the European Union Schengen Zone and certain U.S. states.

As of October 15, residents of the following U.S. states can visit Costa Rica:

  • Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Wyoming California and Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Texas.

Beginning November 1, Costa Rica will open its airports to tourists from all countries and U.S. states.

Costa Rica has confirmed 100,616 cumulative coronavirus cases with 1,251 COVID-19-related deaths. However, the number of hospitalized patients has decreased since a mid-September peak.

The tourism sector is directly or indirectly responsible for some 600,000 jobs, according to the Tourism Board. Unemployment in Costa Rica has reached record highs during the pandemic.

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