Are you an American planning a trip to Costa Rica for dental care? If so, please remember to schedule some extra time for a COVID test before your return to the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will now require airline passengers to show proof of a negative coronavirus test or recovery from COVID-19 before boarding an international flight to the U.S.
This policy takes effect on Jan. 26, 2021, and will remain in effect until further notice, according to CDC officials. This is not an elective testing requirement. Airlines will be required to deny boarding to passengers who do not supply a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding.
Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about the COVID test requirements.
Q: Does the testing requirement apply to U.S. citizens?
A: Yes. All airline passengers ages 2 and older wishing to enter the USA, including citizens, legal permanent residents and foreign visitors must produce a negative COVID test prior to boarding.
Q: Do passengers on flights from Costa Rica have to get tested?
A: Yes. Even though Costa Rica no longer requires a negative COVID test for entry, the US government now requires that every passenger has a negative COVID test prior to entry in the USA.
Q: What kind of a COVID test do I need and how soon before I travel?
A: Travelers must get a viral test – antigen tests and nucleic acid amplification tests such as a PCR test qualify. Antibody tests do not qualify. Tests must be taken no more than three days before the flight departs. All travelers must bring paper or electronic proof of negative test results to the airport.
Special note: Those who have tested positive for the virus within the past three months can bypass the test requirement if they bring proof of recovery and subsequent clearance to travel by a licensed health care provider or health official.
Q: I’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine. Do I still need to get the COVID test to return to the USA?
A: Yes. At this time, even those who have been vaccinated must provide a negative COVID test for reentry to the USA.
Q: Who will enforce this new mandate?
A: Airlines will be the frontline of enforcement for this new policy. Airlines do not want to be penalized by the US government, so you can assume that they will take enforcement seriously.
Airlines will ask for the negative test results or other proof at check-in. The CDC says passengers without negative test results or proof they have recovered from COVID-19 will be denied boarding. Those who provide false information are subject to criminal fines and imprisonment.
Q: What dental clinics in Costa Rica provide the COVID test service to patients?
A: Goodness Dental, Getaway Dental and All on Four Costa Rica have relationships with a top lab to provide patients with accepted COVID tests prior to returning home. Patients that take the test before 10am in the morning can receive test results the same day. The cost for this COVID test is $100 USD.
Q: What if my COVID test results are positive?
A: If you test positive for COVID, you will be required to quarantine in Costa Rica. Not to worry. Patients that purchased the mandatory insurance in Costa Rica will be supported during this process.
It’s also good to understand that Costa Rica has been managing the spread of COVID with much greater success than the USA. The rate of infection is low in most parts of Costa Rica.
Costa Rica remains a safe destination for vacation and dental care. Patients considering a visit to Costa Rica should review this VIDEO regarding effective COVID-19 preparations at the leading Costa Rica Dental Clinics.
Q: How long will this COVID test requirement be in effect?
A: The CDC has not announced any timeline for the testing requirement. However, it is safe to assume that as long as the virus continues to surge in the USA and worldwide, the requirement will remain in effect.
Costa Rica Dental Association
The Costa Rica Dental Association is an English language patient advocacy organization founded to help international patients receive safe, affordable dental care in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica Dental Association helps patients:
- Find accredited dental clinics & specialists in Costa Rica
- Research Costa Rica dental prices on procedures like All on 4, dental implants and crowns
- Get connected to accredited dental clinics & ensure quality treatment approach
The Costa Rica Dental Association includes a team of English-speaking dental professionals who understand the needs of American and Canadian dental tourists seeking affordable, safe, high quality dental care in Costa Rica.
We’ve helped tens of thousands of patients find the right dental clinic or dentist by taking the time to understand your needs and making referrals to the leading, most trusted dental clinics in Costa Rica. You don’t have to do this alone. We’re here to help.
The Costa Rica Dental Association Ombudsman Service helps patients resolve disputes with member organizations and specialists. Ensure your safety by choosing dental clinics recommended by the CRDA.
Anthony Manos, Executive Director Costa Rica Dental Association
This story was sponsored by Costa Rica Dental Association