The list of approved countries has been announced by Gustavo Seguro Sancho, Minister of Tourism (ICT), during this Thursday’s press conference. The United States is excluded from the list, for sanitary reasons.
The long-awaited list has finally been unveiled. Although Health Minister, Daniel Salas, confirmed last Monday that the date of August 1st was still the target for the reopening of air borders, travelers were looking forward to the final green light to fly to Costa Rica. So here we are. It’s now official, starting midnight on August 2nd, tourists from the European Union, United Kingdom, and Canada will be able again to visit the green democracy.
This announcement applies to both Juan Santamaría International Airport, near San José, and Daniel Oduber Quirós Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste. But doesn’t include Costa Rica’s land borders with Panama and Nicaragua. The process will be gradual. For now, Costa Rica only allows five flights per week.
Here are the measures that every tourists must adhere to :
- To present proof of a negative coronavirus test received within 48 hours of their arrival to Costa Rica
- To acquire travel insurance that covers medical care or an unexpected extended hotel stay
.Tourists must also follow all airport and local health protocols.
Epidemiological forms, social distancing, face coverings, sanitizing stations, sanitizer carpets and heat cameras to detect high temperatures… A video released by Aeris Holding, the SJO terminal’s management company, presents the sanitary protocols.
Each passenger entering or leaving the country will have to follow protocols including the presentation of an epidemiological form to immigration authorities. Health authorities are seeking the medical information of passengers who arrive in the country in order to track cases of Covid-19. “What the passenger should do is download an application and fill out a simple form”, explained Carlos Granados, president of the Asociación de Líneas Áreas Internacionale (ALA).
Tourist visa valid until November 18
The country shut down its borders to arriving tourists and non-residents on March 18th, after a State of Emergency was declared due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 16th.
Typically Costa Rica issues tourist visas for a maximum stay of 90 days, but the Immigration Administration has shown flexibility during the context of COVID-19. Indeed, foreigners who entered Costa Rica on a tourist visa after December 17th, 2019, can legally remain in Costa Rica until November 18th, 2020.
Costa Rican authorities have been very proactive in helping to prevent COVID-19 from spreading within the country. Since the beginning of the epidemic, health authorities have been issuing daily press briefings. On July 23rd, there were 13129 cases and 91 deaths. Thanks to its universal health insurance system and the measures taken by the government, Costa Rica is one of the safest countries to visit in America.
Several airlines are planning to resume flights to San José (SJO) :
- Air Canada : September 1st
- Air France : October 14
- American Airlines : August 5
- British Airways : October 27
- Delta Air Lines : August 17
- Iberia : August 3
- Lufthansa : August 1
- United Airlines : August 2
More informations via La Nación