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Costa Rica’s coronavirus restrictions for February 2021

January 26, 2021

Costa Rican authorities on Tuesday announced the country’s coronavirus measures for February 2021.

The vast majority of commercial establishments can remain open seven days per week from 5 a.m. until 10 p.m. This includes the following highlights:

  • National parks can operate at 100% capacity.
  • Bars and casinos can operate at 50% capacity.
  • Beaches can remain open from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The businesses that must remain closed in February include night clubs, discos and amusement parks. See the full list here.

A slightly less-strict vehicular nighttime restriction will apply in February:

  • The nighttime driving ban begins at 10 p.m. every day of the week. This allows for one additional hour of “daytime” driving on Saturdays and Sundays.

In addition, the usual daytime driving restrictions apply:

  • Mondays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 1 or 2 cannot drive.
  • Tuesdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 3 or 4 cannot drive.
  • Wednesdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 5 or 6 cannot drive.
  • Thursdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 7 or 8 cannot drive.
  • Fridays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 9 or 0 cannot drive.
  • Saturdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in ODD numbers cannot drive.
  • Sundays: Vehicles with license plates ending in EVEN numbers cannot drive.

The typical list of exceptions — which includes rental vehicles, people driving to/from a hotel reservation, and people driving to/from the airport — still applies. The full list of exceptions can be found here.

People who must drive for work can do so at any time with the appropriate credentials. Public transportation, including taxis, can operate normally.

Entry requirements for tourists during Covid-19

Since November 1, tourists from anywhere in the world can visit Costa Rica.

Visitors can arrive to Costa Rica via a flight, sailboat or yacht. The land borders remain closed for incoming tourists. Costa Rica does not require a negative coronavirus test, but travel medical insurance is necessary.

Here are are the requirements to fly into Costa Rica on a commercial flight as a tourist since November:

  • Fill out the electronic epidemiological HEALTH PASS form, available at https://salud.go.cr. This should be completed in the 48 hours before boarding for Costa Rica. It generates a QR code that you must show upon arrival; airlines also ask for it at check-in.
  • Purchase Traveler’s Medical Insurance: This can be either from an international company, or purchased through the National Insurance Institute (INS) or Sagicor of Costa Rica, covering the duration of your stay in Costa Rica.

INS and Sagicor policies are pre-approved and guaranteed to be accepted by Costa Rican authorities. However, many visitors choose international policies, because they are often cheaper.

Tourists who opt to purchase an international policy must bring a letter demonstrating:

  • Guaranteed coverage of medical expenses in the event of becoming ill with COVID-19 while in Costa Rica, for at least $50,000 USD.
  • Minimum coverage of $2,000 USD for lodging expenses issued as a result of the pandemic.
  • Validity of the policy throughout the planned stay in Costa Rica.

Many foreign countries, including the United States and Canada, require a negative coronavirus test before returning. Click here to download a PDF listing authorized labs in Costa Rica that promise results within 48 hours of testing.

If you believe you have COVID-19, contact Costa Rica’s hotline at 1322. English-speaking staff and mental health professionals are available. Visit the Costa Rican Presidency for the official list of coronavirus measures and alerts. 

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