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
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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
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.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. 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. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories