Costa Rica will reopen its borders for tourism on August 1, 2020, allowing tourists from select low-risk countries.
Daniel Salas, the Health Minister of Costa Rica, made an announcement on June 26th clarifying that the current travel ban set to expire on June 30th will be extended another month until August 1st, at which point the borders can finally open up again to foreigners.
As this story is still breaking, some of the information is incomplete. We have reached out to the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Tourism and will update once they respond to our inquiries.
Who Can Travel To Costa Rica on August 1?
The list of countries that will be permitted to enter Costa Rica on August 1st has not yet been decided. Salas stated:
“We will announce that with more detail in an appropriate moment. It will go hand-in-hand with what other countries, such as European ones, are managing.”
Speculation has suggested tourists from low-risk countries in the European Union, Canada, and the UK will be granted entry first.
Tourists from the USA make up the largest international arrivals into Costa Rica, but it is unclear at this time if they will be permitted to visit come August.
What are the Entry Requirements for Costa Rica?
All of the entry procedures and requirements have not been finalized yet and Salas states he will release all the details in July.
Here is what we know so far:
- The wearing of masks in public places was just made mandatory on June 27th, so tourists should expect the rule to stand in August. Traveller should expect to wear a mask on their flight, in the airport, and during their stay.
- Like many Caribbean countries, Costa Rica is contemplating using a health declaration card that travellers fill out prior to their trip. This form will not only help to pre-screen inbound passengers but can also help with tracing in event of an outbreak.
- Tourists should expect thermal scans upon arrival and symptom checks
- At this time, mandatory testing at the airport is not planned
What’s Open in Costa Rica?
The government of Costa Rica has laid out a 4-phase reopening plan, of which they are currently in the 3rd phase of.
Phase 1: May 16-31
Phase 2: June 1-20
Phase 3: June 21 to July 11
Phase 4: July 12- August 1
In Phase 3:
- Shops at 50% capacity on weekends
- Cinemas and movie theatres at 50% capacity on weekends with pre-paid tickets
- National Parks at 50% capacity
- Hotels at 50% capacity
- Public Transit at 50% capacity
- Restaurants and Cafes at 50% capacity
- Museums at 50% capacity
- Events with less than 30 people and no more than 50% capacity
- Beaches open 5:00am to 9:30 am
Phase 4 will see extended hours and capacity limits
Scheduled Flights to Costa Rica
The reopening of international flights on August 1st is for only two airports so far: SJO and LIR.
The announcement for Costa Rica’s reopening is brand-new breaking news at this point, so many airlines have not yet rescheduled their flights, but will be over the next few weeks. At the time of writing this article (June 28th) here are some airlines that have already rescheduled flights.
Flights into ‘SJO' from…
- from Frankfurt on Lufthansa starting Aug 1
- from Madrid on Iberia starting Aug 3
- from Zurich on Edelweiss Air starting Aug 6
- from NYC on JetBlue starting Aug 1, United starting Aug 3
- from Atlanta on Delta starting Aug 1
- from Orlando on JetBlue starting Aug 1, Spirit starting Aug 5
- from Fort Lauderdale on Spirit & JetBlue starting Aug 1
- from Miami on American starting Aug 5
- from Houston on United starting Aug 1
- from Dallas on American starting Aug 5
- from Toronto on WestJet starting Aug 8
- from Mexico City on Volaris, Interjet and Aeromexico starting Aug 1
- from Cancun on Volaris starting Aug 1
On March 6th Costa Rica confirmed their first case and promptly shut the borders on March 18th. As of publishing this article there have been 2979 confirmed cases in the country.
Disclaimer: Costa Rica’s reopening news is ever-changing and being updated constantly. We do our best to keep this article up to date with all the latest information, but the decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.