Costa Rica COVID Updates | MUST WATCH Important Changes January 8th 2022

Costa Rica COVID Updates | MUST WATCH Important Changes January 8th 2022
Costa Rica COVID Updates | MUST WATCH Important Changes January 8th 2022

YES come to Costa Rica. The country is planning to return to normal from January 2022. There are minor inconveniences due to COVID restrictions but it is a great time to travel. Tourism related companies are keen to win your business so prices are reasonable and everything is open for business. There are some important changes coming from 8 January which I will outline below. I have also put links to all the key resources you need before you travel, and the procedures for testing prior to your return.

Before you fly
Please check your embassy’s current advice, see the links below. Most countries allow you to visit Costa Rica, and Costa Rica allows most nationalities in. If you are not vaccinated you need to buy insurance approved by the Costa Rican government, Trawick is constantly recommended but there are others below that work well. Or you can use your own insurance as long as it meets certain requirements
You then need to fill in the Costa Rican travel passport, see the link below. This gives you a QR code that you need to travel and to do anything fun. This is really important as it will be needed all the time during your stay. I would print a few copies, as you will need it very frequently. You can just use it on your phone if you prefer.
No COVID test is required when you are flying into Costa Rica.

Flying to Costa Rica – Airports and Immigration
Airports seem to be back to normal. You need to wear a mask from airport to airport. Often the airlines won’t let you check in online; they want a face to face in order to check your vaccination, insurance and travel passport.

Important new COVID rules from 8 January 2022
NEW INFO 15/11/21 : Costa Rica Supreme court is suspending the QR code mandate for visiting some establishments, whilst it is being reviewed

From 8 January 2022 everyone (Costa Ricans and foreigners) will need to be fully vaccinated (double vaccinated a minimum of 14 days before travel) to enter the following:
1. Restaurants, sodas, cafeterias and food courts, food trucks
2. Bars and casinos
3. General stores, department stores and shopping malls
4. Museums
5. Fitness centers
6. Hotels, cabins or lodging establishments
7. Spas
8. Activities, organizations or congregations in places of worship, with more than 500 people.
9. Event rooms for business, academic or social activities
10. Adventure tourism
11. Theaters, cinemas, art and dance academies, and establishments for artistic activities
12. Sports facilities
The only exemptions are essential services such as supermarkets, pharmacies, grocery stores and hospitals.
The health pass that you need to fill in before you fly gives you a QR code that can be used. You may also use a vaccination card but these vary from country to country so it might be questioned more frequently

Can Unvaccinated tourists enter Costa Rica?
Yes, but you won’t be able to stay in hotels or do any fun stuff. Or eat in restaurants. Under 12s or people with medical exemptions are not required to be vaccinated.
Is there any Wiggle Room?

What do Costa Ricans think of the new rules?
I observed 100% compliance in the malls in San Jose. In Costa Rica there is a genuine concern about contracting COVID, and also a general respect for rules. The health system is brilliant here, and pretty much everyone who wants a vaccination has had one by now.My view is that as a guest in their country you should follow the rules of that country.

Preparing to return home
Most countries require a negative COVID test, taken a maximum of 3 days before the flight. For people travelling to the US, fully vaccinated air passengers, regardless of citizenship, will continue to be required to show a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test taken no more than three days before they board their flight to the United States. For passengers who are not fully vaccinated, the rules will tighten to require a test taken no more than one day before departing to the United States.
Most hotels will arrange the COVID test for you, and you might be able to take it in your room. You will need to fill in a badly organized questionnaire called mipreubacovid (my Covid test).
Costa Rica airports

Good info:
Summary PDF from CR tourism institute

Country of origin advice

Before you travel to Costa Rica:
Health Passport:


COVID Testing before return

Pre testing questionairre:

Tamarindo area clinics

Beach side Clinic
Metropolitan Clinic
Diria Hotel
Salinas Hostel

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