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Monday, May 16, 2022

Tourism Chamber wants to delay Costa Rica vaccine requirement

The Costa Rica Tourism Chamber (CANATUR) said Wednesday that it hopes the country’s Covid-19 vaccine requirement to enter businesses and participate in events be delayed until after the tourism high season.

“The general position of the tourism sector is that the measure of requiring a vaccination certificate be applied after March or April 2022, when the high season ends,” CANATUR said in a statement.

CANATUR, which groups tourism businesses and regional chambers from across Costa Rica, does not have direct authority to change vaccine mandates, which are the purview of the Health Ministry as established in the General Health Law.

Jorge Pacheco, president of the Costa Rican Hotel Chamber, told La Republica that the vaccine mandate is an “uncertain message to international tourists that can result in cancellations or be a disincentive to potential travelers.”

“That could imply serious damages for next year, which would be a disaster in the fulfillment of the recovery goals of companies and employment,” Pacheco added.

While Costa Rica won’t require a vaccine for entry to the country, a complete Covid-19 vaccination scheme will be a requirement to participate in most non-essential public activities starting December 1.

Vaccines will be required to enter: Restaurants and food courts; bars and casinos; stores and commercial centers; museums; gyms; hotels; worship sites; event halls; adventure tourism activities; theaters and cinemas; sporting events.

The mandate will also apply to tourists. Per Outlier Legal, as of December 1, tourists will use their Health Pass (the form used to enter the country) and a copy of their vaccination card to enter the aforementioned businesses. Only those who are fully vaccinated will be able to enter those places.

6.1 million vaccines administered

Costa Rica has administered more than 6.1 million Covid-19 vaccines, health authorities reported this week.

The official tracker shows 6,124,445 vaccines have been administered in Costa Rica, comprising 3.6 million first doses and 2.5 million second doses. About 50% of the population has been fully inoculated.

Costa Rica’s vaccination rate is the highest in Central America, according to The New York Times global vaccine tracker.

Serious side effects associated with Covid vaccines continue to be exceedingly rare. Despite the ongoing vaccination campaign, hospitals have alerted of high occupancy; the majority are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.

Costa Rica is mandating Covid-19 vaccines for public workers since October 15. Vaccine requirements are supported by Article 150 of the country’s General Health Law, which reads:

Vaccination and revaccination against communicable diseases determined by the Ministry is obligatory. Exceptional cases, for medical reasons, will be authorized only by the corresponding health authority.

Who can get vaccinated in Costa Rica?

All citizens and residents who are adults (18+) or who are teenagers (12+) with risk factors are eligible for the vaccine.

Individuals should bring their identification document (cedula or DIMEX) to the vaccination site. The vaccine is free, even for those who don’t pay into the Caja. Doses are available to tourists until October 28.

Vaccines are also available to regular and irregular (undocumented) migrants who can demonstrate their permanence in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is administering the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines. Both comprise two doses; some people may receive one dose of each. Immunosuppressed individuals will receive a booster (third) dose in 2022.

Click here for a list of vaccination sites

Official Costa Rica Covid sources

Here at The Tico Times, we do our best to share the most relevant coronavirus information in a clear and concise manner.

As you’re navigating the pandemic and the associated ever-changing rules, here are the official sources for Covid-19 information in Costa Rica:

Costa Rica’s official language is Spanish, so all of the above sources will be in that language. Of course, we at The Tico Times will continue to provide timely, accurate information as it develops.

Thanks for reading!

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