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CDC advises US citizens to ‘avoid all travel to Costa Rica’ due to COVID

December 9, 2020

The latest travel notices published by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States advises citizens to “avoid all travel to Costa Rica” due to the coronavirus.

The warning, issued December 2, says there is a “very high level of COVID-19 in Costa Rica” and that “travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19.”

The CDC lists the following recommendations for anyone considering travel to Costa Rica:

  • Before you travel, get tested with a viral test 1–3 days before your trip. Do not travel if you are waiting for test results, test positive, or are sick.
  • During travel, wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet from people who are not traveling with you, wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer, and watch your health for signs of illness.
  • Before traveling back to the United States, get tested with a viral test 1–3 days before travel.
  • After you travel, get tested 3–5 days after travel AND stay home for 7 days after travel. If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home for 10 days.

The Level 4 warning issued by the CDC is different than the State Department’s advisories. The U.S. State Department classifies Costa Rica at a Level 3 — saying travelers should “reconsider travel” due to COVID-19 and “exercise increased caution” due to crime.

And Costa Rica is not unique in being issued a Level 4 alert from the CDC. More than 100 countries have that label, including Canada and Mexico.

Costa Rica continues to promote tourism as a means through which it might reactivate its economy. In November, more than 24,000 people flew to Costa Rica from the United States, according to the Tourism Board.

Costa Rica considers the US as its most important tourism market.

Costa Rica does not require a negative coronavirus test for entry, nor does it issue quarantine orders upon arrival. The country instead mandates that visitors purchase travel health insurance and complete an online epidemiological form.

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