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Clarifying the isolation requirement for Costa Rican citizens

October 27, 2020

Last week, the Costa Rica Tourism Board announced that, as of October 26, citizens would no longer need to quarantine upon returning to the country.

“Neither Costa Ricans nor foreigners will receive a sanitary order of confinement when entering the country by air,” their press release read.

However, decree N° 42682-MGP-S, published Monday in La Gaceta, appears to indicate otherwise. The decree reads as follows:

The officials of the General Directorate of Migration and Immigration are designated and empowered to exercise migration control at airports in order for them to issue the corresponding sanitary isolation orders for a period of 14 calendar days.

Given this, we contacted the Tourism Board (ICT) and Immigration Administration (DGME) for clarification. Here’s what they said.

ICT: There is no contradiction. Given the doubt raised, it is clarified that this provision is for the case of unauthorized countries (as we have not yet opened to all countries in the world). They are the only cases in which an order will be issued.

DGME: The sanitary order is not an entry requirement. Therefore, [the order] is not contradictory with what was stated by the ICT.

Summary: Entry requirements for citizens

Given the answers from ICT and DGME, our understanding of the entry requirements for citizens are as follows:

  • They must complete the Health Pass epidemiological form.
  • No negative coronavirus test is necessary.
  • As of Oct. 26 until Nov. 1, citizens returning via a flight from a non-authorized state/country will still be issued a 14-day quarantine order.
  • As of Nov. 1, citizens returning via a flight will not be issued a 14-day quarantine order, regardless of their provenance. However, this is not yet official, and must be ratified first by Health Ministry guidelines.

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