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Costa Rica Will Require Proof Of Vaccination At Hotels and Restaurants

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Costa Rica has been one of the easiest destinations to visit during the pandemic, with no entry requirements other than proof of insurance.

However, that will soon change. As of January 8th, travelers in Costa Rica will be required to show proof of vaccination to enter commercial establishments including hotels.

This post will look at Costa Rica's new entry requirements for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.

Costa Rica Will Require Proof Of Vaccination For Commercial Establishments In January

Costa Rica Will Require Proof Of Vaccination For Commercial Establishments

Yesterday, Costa Rica confirmed that tourists will be required to show proof of vaccination starting January 8th.

“Starting 8 January 2022 hotels, restaurants, bars, casinos, shops, museums, art and dance academies, gymnasiums, resorts, and adventure tourism may admit only persons who are verifiably fully vaccinated (Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca y Janssen).”

Vaccination status will be verified through a QR code or a printed vaccination certificate and applies to all travelers aged 12 or older.

NYC vaccine passport app

Children under 12 will not need to present proof of vaccination, and neither will tourists who have an approved medical condition that renders it impossible to have any of the vaccines.

Essential services such as supermarkets and pharmacies will not require proof of vaccination.

The rules will first come into effect on December 1, but there will be a transition period between December 1 and January 7, 2022 where commercial establishments will be allowed to admit unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people while operating at 50 % capacity.

Hanging Bridge, Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park, Costa Rica.

If they want to operate at full capacity, businesses in Costa Rica must require proof of vaccination.

Speaking about the new vaccination requirements, Costa Rica’s President Carlos Alvarado said:

“This will allow us to have greater economic openness and get out of the pandemic faster. Those people who do not have a complete scheme should not be allowed in certain place. Each unvaccinated person puts others at risk.” 

Volcan Arenal dominates the landscape during sunset

Vaccinated Travelers No Longer Have To Get Travel Insurance To Enter Costa Rica

Costa Rica previously required all travelers to obtain a specific travel insurance policy, but now fully vaccinated travelers do not need to get it. Instead, they can enter using proof of vaccination.

All travelers must complete a health pass within 72 hours of arriving in the country, which vaccinated travelers can attach their vaccination proof to.

waterfall in costa rica

Unvaccinated travelers can still enter Costa Rica, but they must purchase a travel policy that covers COVID-19 care and quarantine if necessary.

While they will not be allowed to enter commercial establishments as of January 8th, 2022 the new entry requirements have made it clear that it “DOES NOT PREVENT tourists without vaccination, with incomplete vaccination schedules or inoculated with vaccines not admitted in Costa Rica, from entering the country to visit family, friends or their properties in the country.”

Squirrel Monkey on branch of tree in rainforest of Costa Rica - animals in wilderness

While unvaccainted travelers can still enter, it's unlikely many will who do not have friends and family to stay with in the country given the fact they cannot stay at hotels.

These new entry requirements may come as a blow to the countries tourism industry, which saw American tourism numbers as high as 93% of 2019 in September.

Covid-19 In Costa Rica

La paz waterfalls Costa Rica

Costa Rica has seen over 559,000 cases and 7,021 deaths as of October 29 with record infections in May during a second wave. However, the government says they are slowing down again.

Costa Rica was one of the first countries in Latin America to receive vaccines. Over 5.9 million vaccination doses have been given so far, with about 47% of the population fully vaccinated as of October 21 according to John Hopkins University.

Read More:

Travel Insurance That Covers Covid-19

Costa Rica Launches Mandatory Vaccine Passport

Top 6 Outdoor Adventures to Experience in Costa Rica

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This article originally appeared on

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Thursday 16th of December 2021

Say good bye to Pura Vida. There goes 50% of their tourism and the dollars that go with it. I adore Costa Rica and was close to buying property there. Tried to go to Tabacon and drop mucho $$$ yesterday and was denied entry due to vax mandate, went to free hot springs next door instead. Saying my last good bye to Costa Rica today. Will spend my vacation dollars where this apartheid does not exist. What a shame but you just can’t fix stupid.


Thursday 4th of November 2021

One less option for the anti-vaxxers to contaminate. We love to see countries prioritizing safety!


Tuesday 14th of December 2021

@Bill Peterson,

You are 100% correct. We have already sold our property there. What a shame.


Wednesday 10th of November 2021

@WearyTraveler, you are incorrect about natural immunity. There is no evidence it decreases. Recently a Singapore large study showed those who had SARS 1 still had strong antibodies 17 years later.

Bill Peterson

Wednesday 10th of November 2021

@Dee, I own a property in Costa Rica and I will be selling it due to these mandates.. I have traveled from US to Costa Rica at least 30 times and love the country, however due to the mandate I will not be coming back and spending money. Thousands annually.. I have had covid and now have natural immunity which is longer lasting and more durable.. Much better then the artificial "vaccine" This ruling is insanity! It will kill tourism in costa rica! Bill


Saturday 6th of November 2021

@WearyTraveler, You seem to be an exception among pro-vaxxers for having such a libertarian view. What the media like to label "anti-vaxxer" aren't actually anti anything. All they want is their freedom to choose, which from what I got in your post, you are supporting as well.

I see the problem more among pro-vaxxers (vaxx-fascists) who want to force others to live the way they live, rather than most anti-vaxxers. I wouldn't support an anti-vaxxer who would want his government to put a law in place that would forbid all vaccines. People are free to choose.


Friday 5th of November 2021

@Hannah, If you're from the US, then the likelihood of you knowing someone actually 'injured' by a COVID-19 vaccine is near zero. If they had been injured, they would be getting a sweet check from the federal government by now. The total federal payout so far this year (through July) for CV19 vaccination-related injuries? $0. Vaccines are never 100% safe, but these ones have been exceedingly safe. The vaccines were never supposed to stop you 100% from getting COVID-19. Neither the EU, Canada, nor Australia is planning eight booster shots. These are all lies.

As far as countries restricting travel to those who have not received a booster: some countries are setting up 'vaccination expiration' periods. I saw reference to Croatia and Austria requiring that your last vaccination shot (second shot for Pfizer and Moderna, first shot for J&J) has to have been within a year of entry. Israel was looking at setting their expiration date to six months. This policy may be prudent as the efficacy of the vaccines (and natural antibodies from previous infection) decrease over time.

You can decide for yourself if you want to be vaccinated or receive a booster. Likewise, countries can choose their requirements for entry.

I check the comment section of articles on this site to see if there are any reports from travelers in these countries. Unfortunately, there are few of those comments anymore. Most of the comments are arguments about vaccination and most of them are virulently anti-vaxx.


Thursday 4th of November 2021

The no-entry requirement policy of Costa Rica is like a trap that makes potential tourist believe that traveling there is normal, but once there, they have to submit to the dictate of the government. I like the policy of DR better since they apparently exempt tourists from local dictates. I made a good guess a couple of weeks ago after purchasing a flight from Mexico to Colombia, as I was also considering Costa Rica and DR. In my book, the only countries worth traveling to is Mexico and Colombia. Colombia however has changed their policies frequently and its population seems traumatised by the government and media fear propaganda as many of them seem to still wear face diapers outside. I will make sure to visit places where there are still normal people not hooked in front of their TVs.


Sunday 7th of November 2021

@Christian, the fact that you call it face diapers really shows what type of people anti vaxxers are. Well done lol