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Costa Rica businesses, activities will require Covid-19 vaccine

Starting December 1, 2021, Costa Rica will require the Covid-19 vaccine in order to enter most commercial centers and to participate in many public activities.

Establishments requiring vaccination will include: Restaurants, bars, casinos, commercial centers, museums, gyms, hotels, adventure tourism, theaters, sites of worship and sporting events:

Essential services (e.g. supermarkets, pharmacies) are not included in the nationwide vaccine mandate.

As Costa Rica begins mandating the Covid-19 vaccine, it will ease capacity restrictions at most businesses and will begin allowing more mass events with in-person attendance, including concerts and sporting events.

“We have to give time for the people who remain to get their two vaccines,” said President Carlos Alvarado. “As of December 1, there will be no excuse.”

Vaccine status will be verified via a digital form or mobile-phone application that will be made available in November. The QR code will not require an ongoing internet connection, and it can also be printed.

According to Outlier Legal, tourists will use their Health Pass and vaccination card to enter businesses.

Costa Ricans who got vaccinated abroad can submit a sworn declaration to the Health Ministry in order to receive their QR code. Children under 12 years old will not need a vaccine to enter businesses, though that may change at a later date if shots are authorized for that population.

As a reminder: As of Friday, October 15, all public-sector employees in Costa Rica will be required to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Private employers can also obligate their employees to be vaccinated.

About 82% of all Costa Ricans ages 12 and older have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, per the latest figures from the Social Security Fund (CCSS).

Where to get a Covid vaccine in Costa Rica

Vaccination locations and times are available on the CCSS website at

All citizens and residents who are adults (18+) or who are teenagers (12+) with risk factors are eligible for the vaccine. Documented migrants are also eligible. Undocumented migrants (e.g. perpetual tourists) can receive a vaccine until Thursday, October 14, at CCSS sites. Click here for a list of Covid-19 vaccination sites in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is administering the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines. Both comprise two doses.

Immunosuppressed individuals will receive a booster (third) dose in 2022, and minors without risk factors will be eligible for a shot in the coming weeks as more Pfizer shipments arrive.

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