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Costa Rica, US, Canada, Mexico entry requirements during Covid

May 24, 2021

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, traveling is tough right now. It can be difficult to keep track of every country’s entry requirements.

Below is a summary of Covid-related tourist entry requirements for Costa Rica and its North American tourism markets: The US, Canada and Mexico.

Note these are in addition to all regular requirements that may vary by nationality. For example: Everyone needs a valid passport to travel internationally, Costa Ricans need to apply, pay for and pass an interview to visit the US, and so on. 

Costa Rica entry requirements

Tourists from anywhere in the world can visit Costa Rica, which does not require a negative coronavirus test. Travel medical insurance is necessary for all visitors, even if they are vaccinated.

These are are the requirements to enter Costa Rica on a commercial flight as a tourist:

  • 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; most airlines 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.

The Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) lists all the current entry requirements for tourists on its website. Click here for the official page.

United States entry requirements

The United States requires all air passengers to present a negative Covid-19 test taken within three calendar days of departure or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days​.

Airlines must confirm the negative test result or proof of recovery for all passengers two years of age and over prior to boarding. Antigen and PCR tests are accepted. Tests are required even for vaccinated individuals.

The CDC has issued a Level 4 travel alert (“avoid all travel”) for Costa Rica due to Covid-19. However, in practice, this does not change travel testing requirements and self-isolation recommendations.

Canada entry requirements

Most foreigners cannot travel to Canada, even if they have a valid visitor visa or electronic travel authorization.

Citizens and residents should follow this checklist to enter Canada. Requirements include:

  • A pre-entry Covid-19 test. (Antigen tests are not accepted.)
  • A three night hotel stopover at an approved hotel.
  • An arrival Covid-19 test.
  • A 14-day quarantine plan.

All travelers entering Canada by land or air are required to provide travel, contact and quarantine information through ArriveCAN.

Mexico entry requirements

Mexico does not require a Covid-19 test or insurance. However, travelers may be subject to health screenings including temperature checks.

While commercial flights are operating normally, non-essential travel across the US-Mexico land border is restricted until at least June 21. The US Embassy’s fact sheet has more information.

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