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Costa Rica Reopens to US Travel

As of Nov. 1, all US citizens plus travelers from 44 other countries will be able to enter, provided they meet COVID-19 health requirements

As of Nov. 1, residents and citizens of all US states will be able to enter Costa Rica, according to an announcement from the Minister of Tourism Gustavo Seguro.

The country’s borders had been closed to foreign visitors since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in March. Beginning in August, the country began a gradual reopening to US travelers, starting with six states where COVID-19 cases were below a certain threshold, soon expanding to 12 states.

Later more states were added. Currently residents of Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, DC, Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Wyoming California and Ohio are allowed to enter the country. Beginning Oct. 15, Florida, Georgia and Texas will be added to the list, bringing the total number of US states to 24.

Last week’s announcement opens the doors to travelers from all 50 states, plus 44 other countries, including Canada, the Schengen area of the European Union, the UK, Japan, Australia, Singapore, South Korea, China, Jamaica, New Zealand, Thailand, Uruguay, and Mexico.

Although the borders will be open, travelers from the United States to Costa Rica must still meet three health requirements:

• Complete the digital form called HEALTH PASS, available here.

• Take a COVID-19 PCR test and obtain a negative result; the sample for the test must be taken a maximum of 72 hours before the flight to Costa Rica.

• Obtain mandatory travel insurance that covers accommodation in case of quarantine and medical expenses due to COVID-19 illness. The policy can be international or purchased from Costa Rican insurers.

According to the Minister, data from the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Policy (MIDEPLAN), calculated based on the Input-Output Matrix, allowing the entry of citizens and residents of all the states of the United States could generate the country

“Our conversations with technical teams in the airline sector allow us to determine that by opening the United States market, they could attract between 35 percent and 40 percent of 2019 air traffic, both originating in North America and connecting in that region.” Segura explained.

That could translate to $1.5 billion dollars in foreign currency injected into the Costa Rican economy, boosting the country’s GDP by 2.5 points GDP, and adding about 80,000 jobs in 2021.

“To reactivate employment, international tourism is a tool with low epidemiological risk,” Segura said.