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England re-enters coronavirus lockdown: What it means for Costa Rica

January 4, 2021

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday announced a six-week lockdown in England after a surge in coronavirus cases related to a new strain of the virus.

The news impacts most non-essential travel from UK citizens. As the government explains,  individuals must not leave home unless they have a “reasonable excuse.”

You cannot leave your home or the place where you are living for holidays or overnight stays unless you have a reasonable excuse for doing so. This means that holidays in the UK and abroad are not allowed.

You can only travel internationally – or within the UK – where you first have a legally permitted reason to leave home. In addition, you should consider the public health advice in the country you are visiting.

UK residents currently abroad do not need to return home immediately. However, you should check with your airline or travel operator on arrangements for returning.

As Telegraph reports, the UK could also introduce “pre-departure testing of travelers inbound to the UK … as part of a potential toughening of border controls to combat the spread of Covid.”

Impacts on Costa Rica

In 2019, 78,562 people from the United Kingdom visited Costa Rica, according to data from the Costa Rica Tourism Board. This made it the European country from which the second-most people traveled to Costa Rica, behind only Germany.

Due to the coronavirus, visits from the UK dropped significantly in 2020. From January-November 2020, 23,468 Britons came to Costa Rica — including just 16 people from April to July.

Tourists rebounded slightly in 2020’s later months, with 968 UK arrivals from August to November.

British Airways, which typically flies non-stop from London, is expected to resume its route to Costa Rica later in 2021. Other European airlines, including Air France, Iberia, KLM and Lufthansa, retook flights in 2020.

If the UK begins requiring coronavirus tests from returning citizens, several private labs in Costa Rica offer the service on-demand.

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