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Costa Rica to reopen land borders for tourists on April 5

March 23, 2021

Costa Rica will reopen its land borders to arriving tourists starting April 5, authorities announced Tuesday.

For the first time since the government imposed coronavirus measures last March, visitors will be permitted to enter Costa Rica via a land border post.

Tourists must meet Costa Rica’s coronavirus entry requirements, comprising the Health Pass and health insurance.

The press release from the Tourism Board (ICT) and Immigration Administration (DGME) reads as follows:

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Starting next Monday, April 5 — after Easter — the country will open its land borders for tourism. Interested parties must meet the immigration and health requirements established for entry and stay in Costa Rica.

The announcement was made Tuesday by Gustavo Segura, Minister of Tourism, at a press conference from the Presidential House.

The Minister of Tourism highlighted the importance of land openness for the national tourism industry, the one most affected by the pandemic.

“Many European tourists who visit Costa Rica are interested in multi-destination experiences, that is, they like to combine attractions of our country with those of neighboring nations such as Nicaragua and Panama,” he said.

In 2019, prior to the pandemic, 5,285 European tourists entered Costa Rica by land, a fifth of them Germans (1,158), while international arrivals from North America by land totaled 5,860 that year.

Segura also cited figures from the Costa Rican Chamber of Health, indicating that before the pandemic more than 1,500 people entered the country annually by land, investing close to $20 million in medical treatments.

The country will admit tourists from groups one and two included in the general guidelines for entry and stay visas for non-residents; that is, people who do not require a visa. Those people whose nationality is in the third and fourth groups and who require a visa will only be able to enter Costa Rica when the consulates of Costa Rica resume visa processing.

Tourists can verify if they require entry with or without a visa at the following link https://migracion.go.cr/Paginas/Visas.aspx.

Note: U.S. and Canadian citizens do not require a separate visa. 

Regarding the mandatory health requirements in the framework of the pandemic, they are the following:

Complete the epidemiological digital form known as the Health Pass: https://salud.go.cr/
Acquire health insurance that meets the following coverages:
Valid for the entire stay (coverage dates).
$ 50,000 for medical expenses, including COVID-19.
$ 2,000 for lodging expenses in case of COVID-19 quarantine.

This announcement is accompanied by a change for those who return to the country by land: the sanitary order that forced Costa Ricans and residents to quarantine is eliminated.

The epidemiological form must be previously validated by the Ministry of Health, with the support of the Costa Rican Tourism Institute, which will review the medical insurance section as it has been doing with tourists who enter by air and sea. Once the person has completed these steps, they will obtain a QR code that will be verified by the immigration authorities at the border, as well as that the tourist has an onward ticket, economic solvency (US $100.00 for each month) and a valid passport in good condition.

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