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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

These are Costa Rica’s coronavirus measures for April 2021 (updated)

The Costa Rican Presidency has re-introduced weekend driving restrictions in response to an increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

Below are Costa Rica’s coronavirus measures for April 2021 (as of April 17):

Travel and borders

Costa Rica is welcoming tourists who arrive via flights (commercial or private) or boats (yachts or sailboats). A negative coronavirus test is not required, but visitors are required to purchase insurance covering their stay in Costa Rica.

The land borders reopened to arriving tourists on April 5. Residents and citizens can already enter via land borders.

There are no quarantine requirements in place for anyone who enters the country who is not exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19.

For more information, visit the Costa Rica Tourism Board’s official site.

Driving restrictions

Costa Rica has re-implemented its national coronavirus-related weekend daytime driving restrictions. There also remain national nighttime restrictions, as well as weekday restrictions in downtown San José only.

Since March 1:

New nationwide weekend daytime restrictions as of April 17:

  • On Saturdays, only vehicles with license plates ending in even numbers (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) can circulate (5 a.m. to 11 p.m.).
  • On Sundays, only vehicles with license plates ending in odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) can circulate (5 a.m. to 11 p.m.).

The typical list of exceptions — which includes rental vehicles, people driving to/from a hotel reservation, and people driving to/from the airport — continues to apply, including in San José. The official list of exceptions can be found here.

To check what days your vehicle can circulate, click here.

Tourism activities

All outdoor tourism activities are permitted. All national parks can be open, and beaches can remain open daily from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Guests are required to wear masks in some outdoors situations, so come prepared. (e.g. you need to wear a mask when purchasing your ticket to a national park, but you can remove the mask when you’re hiking.)

Businesses and activities

The vast majority of businesses can operate (with some capacity restrictions) from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m. This includes restaurants and bars.

Activities that are not permitted include: concerts, fairs, nightclubs, large religious processions. The full list of establishments and activities that are not allowed is here.

Covid-19 testing requirements

Costa Rica does not require a negative coronavirus test to enter or exit the country. However, many foreign countries (e.g. the United States, Canada) do require a negative test if flying into or transiting through those nations.

More than 100 private labs across Costa Rica offer PCR and/or antigen coronavirus tests. Click here for a list. Note that antigen tests are accepted by the U.S. but are not valid for entry to many countries, including Canada.

Mask wearing and other measures

Masks are required in all indoor settings except when eating, while alone, or in a private residence. You can be denied entry into an establishment if you are not wearing a mask.

Some businesses require hand washing and/or have implemented temperature checks.

It remains highly unlikely that Costa Rica will close its borders to air travel, given the importance of tourism to the country’s economy.

The official site for coronavirus measures in Costa Rica is:

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