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New U.S. testing policy takes effect today: Where to get a Covid test in Costa Rica

January 26, 2021

As of Tuesday, January 26, the United States requires that all air passengers show proof of a negative Covid-19 test before boarding a flight to the country.

Passengers must show written documentation of a negative test result from a sample taken no more than three days (72 hours) before travel. Travelers who previously had Covid-19 and have recovered must show a letter from a doctor or health department indicating they have been cleared to travel.

“Testing does not eliminate all risk,” Robert Redfield, CDC director, said in a statement. “But when combined with a period of staying at home and everyday precautions like wearing masks and social distancing, it can make travel safer, healthier, and more responsible by reducing spread on planes, in airports, and at destinations.”

Airlines must deny boarding to passengers who do not meet the requirements.

U.S. President Joe Biden has also issued an Executive Order stating that travelers arriving in the U.S. from an international destination are “required to comply” with CDC guidelines “including recommended periods of self-quarantine or self-isolation after entry into the United States.”

Click here for the CDC’s answers to frequently asked questions about the new testing policy.

Where to get tested in Costa Rica

More than 100 private labs and hospitals in Costa Rica offer on-demand PCR coronavirus testing for a fee. Prices are set by each lab and average $100 in the San José area or $150 elsewhere.

The US accepts PCR tests and antigen tests; however, the latter is significantly less common in Costa Rica.

Click here for a PDF listing authorized labs in Costa Rica that promise results within 48 hours of testing.

 

 

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