Number of States Able to Visit Costa Rica Increased to 12

Six new U.S. states, for a total of 12, have been added to the list of territories whose residents will be permitted to enter Costa Rica by air. Last week, the country initially announced six states would be able to visit, as reported by our sister publication Travel Agent.

As of September 1, in addition to residents of New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and Connecticut, those who live in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. will be permitted to enter. Two weeks later, on September 15, residents of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Colorado will also be permitted to enter.

"The entry of travelers from these 12 states is allowed because they currently have an epidemiological condition similar or lower levels of contagion to those of Costa Rica," said Tourism Minister Gustavo J. Segura during an announcement made this Thursday at a press conference from the Presidential House, according to the Costa Rica Tourism Board. The tourism minister said that in addition to a driver's license, a state identification, will also be allowed as proof of residency in those authorized states. This requirement excludes minors traveling with their family.

Segura added that tourists from authorized states will be able to enter the country, even if they stop at an unauthorized destination, as long as they do not leave the airport. For example, a visitor who takes a flight from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey and makes a stopover in Panama will be permitted to enter Costa Rica.

Another measure announced this Thursday is that PCR test results can now be taken within 72 hours (instead of 48) of travel to Costa Rica. This applies to all countries authorized to enter Costa Rica.

Segura stressed that in order to launch its reactivation, the opening to international tourism will continue to be responsible, careful and gradual, and will go hand-in-hand with the promotion of local tourism.

For people residing in the aforementioned U.S. states, there are four requirements apply to enter Costa Rica:

  1. Complete the epidemiological digital form called HEALTH PASS
  2. Perform the PCR test and obtain a negative result; the test must be taken a maximum of 72 hours before the flight to Costa Rica
  3. A mandatory travel insurance that covers accommodations, in case of quarantine and medical expenses due to COVID-19 illness; said insurance can be international or purchased from Costa Rican insurers
  4. Proof of residency in the authorized state through a driver's license or State ID

Regarding private flights for citizens originating from unauthorized places: As of September 1, private flights from the United States will also be allowed to enter the country. For those who come from aboard via private flights, the same requirements already described will apply and if they come from a place of origin that is not authorized, they must receive prior approval from the Ministry of Health and the General Directorate of Migration and Immigration. Interested parties must send an application document containing the following elements:

  • Full name of passengers
  • Nationalities and ages
  • Legible copy of the biographical sheet of the passport of each of the passengers
  • Date of arrival, airport of arrival and origin of the flight
  • Strategic reason for its admissibility (investment analysis; property in Costa Rica; humanitarian reasons; etc.)

Private yachts will also be able to enter the country on September 1, as long as they fulfill the same entry requirements that the country demands from the previous August 1 announcement. If the passengers do not bring the negative PCR test with them, or if they set sail from a city or country that has not been authorized, they will receive a quarantine health order from, in which the days they have been at sea will be deducted from the last sailing recorded in the yacht's log.

This could represent the entry of a hundred private yachts in the remainder of the year in the different marinas, including Golfito, Los Sueños, Pez Vela, Banana Bay and Papagayo.

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