Several countries, including the United States, require that returning travelers test negative for the coronavirus.
More than 100 labs in Costa Rica offer PCR coronavirus testing for tourists. Ninety-seven labs now also offer antigen testing for travelers in Costa Rica. Antigen tests meet United States entry requirements, but not Canada’s. Most countries, including the U.S. and Canada, accept PCR tests.
PCR tests typically cost $100 or less in the San José area, and about $150 in outlying areas. Antigen tests are about $60. Private labs are free to set their own prices. Travel insurance typically does not cover the test, as they are considered elective for people who are asymptomatic and have not had a close contact.
Labs highlighted in orange offer antigen tests as well as PCR tests. As part of their inclusion on the list, labs promise PCR results within 48 hours. Labs in San José typically have faster turnaround times for results.
To our knowledge, all labs in Costa Rica use nasal swabs for samples. An international flight itinerary is required for an antigen test.
Entry requirements by country
Below are the entry requirements for several countries, sourced from Kayak.
All travelers (including US citizens and transit passengers) must present a negative COVID-19 viral or antigen test result issued three days prior to departure or have an evidence of having contracted and recovered from COVID-19 prior to boarding the plane. More info via the CDC.
Canada has restricted the entry of all foreign nationals. All passengers five years of age or older, must present a medical certificate with a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued within 72 hours prior to departure. There are additional test and quarantine requirements upon arrival. More info via Travel Canada.
Travelers must present a medical certificate with a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test issued within 48 hours of departure to Panama. Travelers without a negative COVID-19 PCR-RT test must undertake a test at the airport for USD 50, at their own expense.
Mexico does not have any entry restrictions for air travel, but travelers will be screened and quarantined if necessary.