U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica – COVID-19 Information

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Country-Specific Information:

  • Costa Rica continues to see a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases within its borders.  The Government of Costa Rica has implemented a series of restrictive measures to try and curb the number of new COVID-19 infections.  These restrictive measures vary in intensity depending on each area’s alert designation.  For areas under Orange Alert, there are restrictions on the types of business which are allowed to operate and their operating hours.  In locations under a Yellow Alert, most businesses can continue to operate normally, though operating hours may be restricted.  Driving days and hours are also restricted nationwide based on a schedule determined by license plate number.  Beaches and open-air tourism activities in areas under Yellow Alert are also allowed to operate, though hours are restricted.
  • Costa Rica’s National Emergency Commission (CNE) frequently announces updates to the areas under Orange or Yellow Alert, as well as business and vehicle restrictions.  For up-to-date information on current restrictions and Alerts, please review the U.S. Embassy’s Mascot Messages at this link: https://cr.usembassy.gov/category/messages-for-us-citizens/

Entry and Exit Requirements:

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes 
    • As of September 1, 2020, U.S. citizen tourists who are residents of New York, New Jersey, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia may enter Costa Rica on flights departing from the United States.  As of September 15, residents of Colorado, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Montana, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Wyoming, New Mexico, Michigan, and Rhode Island can also enter Costa Rica on flights departing from the United States.  Residents of California will be able to enter Costa Rica as of October 1.  U.S. citizen tourists from these states wishing to enter Costa Rica must complete a digital epidemiological health pass, obtain a negative PCR-RT coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of their departure from the United States, and purchase travel insurance that covers accommodation in case of quarantine and medical expenses due to COVID-19.  U.S. tourist must also demonstrate, via a valid driver’s license or State ID card, that they live in one of the authorized states.  No forms of documentation establishing residency in these authorized states other than a valid driver’s license or State ID card will be accepted at this time.  Accompanying minors are not required to have a driver’s license or State ID card. The Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) has an English-language website detailing these entry requirements: https://www.visitcostarica.com/en/costa-rica/planning-your-trip/entry-requirements
    • U.S. tourists from the list of authorized states can enter Costa Rica via a flight from an authorized state with a layover in a non-authorized state or country.  (For example, a Colorado resident can fly from Denver to Houston to Costa Rica, as long as they do not exit the airport in Houston.). However, the layover in the non-authorized state can not last longer than 18 hours and the U.S. tourist must not exit the airport during the layover.
    • U.S. Citizens from any state who meet Ministry of Health criteria are able to enter Costa Rica on commercial flights from designated international flight departure points, which currently include Frankfurt, Germany and Madrid, Spain.  However, they must demonstrate they have remained at that designated departure point for 14 days prior to their flight.
    • U.S. citizens with permanent or temporary Costa Rican residency may enter Costa Rica via air regardless of where they are coming from and must present the following documentation: 1) passport, 2) Valid DIMEX, 3) evidence Caja payments are up to date for each person entering, and 4) a completed Health Pass (Pase de Salud).  U.S. citizens with residency in Costa Rica who are not up to date with Caja payments will still be allowed to enter, but will be required to become up to date with all payments within 22 days.  Persons in this category must also purchase health insurance to cover the cost of any COVID-19 treatment or lodging for the 22 day grace period. 
    • U.S. citizens with permanent or temporary Costa Rican residency must complete a 14-day quarantine. However, the quarantine is waived if 1) arriving from one of the designated departure points, 2) have proof of stay for the past 14 days at that departure point, and 3) carry a negative COVID-19 test (PCR-RT) taken no more than 72 hours prior to their flight to Costa Rica.
    • The link for the Ministry of Health’s Spanish social media website is: https://www.facebook.com/msaludcr/ 
    • The link for the Ministry of Health’s webpage is: https://www.ministeriodesalud.go.cr/
    •  For up-to-date information on current entry requirements, please review the U.S. Embassy’s Mascot Messages at this link: https://cr.usembassy.gov/category/messages-for-us-citizens/
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes 
    • All U.S. citizen tourists wishing to enter Costa Rica, regardless of departure point or state of residency, will need to present the results of a negative PCR test for CV-19 taken within the past 72 hours, complete an epidemiological form, and provide proof of health insurance.
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes 
    • Travelers entering Costa Rica are required to fill out digital epidemiological forms, which are available in multiple languages.  Any arrival displaying COVID-19 related symptoms will be tested at the airport.  The Ministry of Health will follow up with all quarantining individuals.
  • The Costa Rica Directorate of Migration has announced that tourists who entered Costa Rica after December 17, 2019 and who enter until November 30, 2020 can legally remain in the country until November 30, 2020.  Immigration control officers will determine the legal length of stay in Costa Rica for all tourists who enter as of December 1, 2020

Movement Restrictions:

  • Is a curfew in place? No 
    • The Government of Costa Rica has implemented daily nationwide driving restrictions based upon license plate number.  Costa Rica’s National Emergency Commission (CNE) frequently announces updates regarding driving restrictions as well as the areas under Orange or Yellow Alert.
    • For the most up-to-date information, please review the U.S. Embassy’s Mascot Messages at this link: https://cr.usembassy.gov/category/messages-for-us-citizens/
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No 
    • There are no restrictions for intercity or interstate travel; however, nationwide driving restrictions based on license plate number are in effect.

Quarantine Information:

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? No 
    • U.S. citizen tourists arriving from a permitted destinations who meet the three entry requirements – a negative test for COVID-19 taken within the past 72 hours, completion of the digital epidemiological form, and proof of health insurance – will not be required to quarantine.
    • Costa Rican citizens and other nationals holding Costa Rican residency who enter the country will be subject to a 14-day in home quarantine order.
    • If any tourist is diagnosed with COVID-19 during their trip to Costa Rica, they will receive a quarantine order upon arrival.

COVID-19 Testing:

  • Testing is available at Hospital La Católica, Hospital Cima, Hospital Metropolitano and Hospital Clinica Biblica as well as the following laboratories located around Costa Rica: LABIN, Echandi, Laboratorio Páez, Laboratorios San José. The cost is around USD 100, and results are typically ready within 24 to 48 hours.  Testing is paid for by the individual.

Transportation Options:

  • Are commercial flights operating? Yes 
    • As of September 1, commercial flights will operate from select cities in the United States.  Only residents of specific states with a valid driver’s license or State ID card from that state will be able to enter Costa Rica on these flights.  (See Entry and Exit Requirements).  Airlines operating these commercial flights include United Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and American Airlines.  Delta Airlines will begin offering service to Costa Rica on October 1.
    • According to the Ministry of Health, the list of designated U.S. states, countries, and flight departure points will gradually expand over the coming months.
  • Is public transportation operating? Yes 
    • The Government of Costa Rica has mandated the use of masks while waiting at bus stops and on public transportation.

Fines for Non-Compliance:

  • Any individuals who violates a mandated sanitary order or restriction will be subject to a fine between 450,200 to 2,300,000 colones depending on the violation.

Consular Operations:

  • We are currently unable to provide routine in-person services for U.S. citizens.  This includes non-emergency passport renewals, consular reports of birth abroad, welfare and whereabouts visits, prison visits, and notarial services.  U.S. citizens with emergencies may contact acssanjose@state.govor call +506-2519-2590 during business hours and +506-2519-2000 after hours.
  • The U.S. Embassy San Jose suspended routine consular and visa services on March 18, 2020 due to COVID-19.  Visa applicants with urgent matters and immediate travel, can follow the guidance provided at https://www.ustraveldocs.com/cr/cr-niv-expeditedappointment.asp to request an emergency appointment.

Local Resources:

Source: U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica

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23720cookie-checkU.S. Embassy in Costa Rica – COVID-19 Information