COVID Travel Requirements to/from Costa Rica - Updated January 2021

This year has been one of change, challenge and adaptation.

You’ve spent the last many months grateful for continued health and concerned for everyone’s safety, while simultaneously missing everything you once took for granted: coffee with friends, dining out and, of course, travel!

That’s why we are so happy to announce that Costa Rica has developed safe travel regulations and, as of November 1, will be fully and completely open to travel.

As of January 26, 2021, you may enter Costa Rica from any country in the world, as long as you meet visa requirements, when applicable.

Current Requirements to Enter Costa Rica

Current requirements to enter Costa Rica are simple and designed to keep you safe while traveling. You’ll need:

  • A Negative PCR-RT COVID-19 Test: Test negative for COVID-19 via PCR test – note: a quick antigen or antibody test will not be accepted – for a sample taken within 72 hours of travel to Costa Rica.
  • No COVID Test Required (to Enter Costa Rica): In late October, the requirement for a negative PCR-RT test was eliminated for tourists. As of November 1, no COVID test is required.
  • Traveler’s Medical Insurance: An international or Costa Rican travel insurance policy that covers COVID-19 medical expenses ($50,000 minimum) and accommodations ($2,000 minimum), in the case of quarantine. You may purchase a policy locally through the National Insurance Institute or Sagicor.
  • A Completed Health Pass: Fill out the official Health Pass before your trip, for a streamlined arrival process.

For full and current requirements, please check info from the Costa Rican Tourism Board or get in touch.

Current Requirements to Return to the U.S.

As of January 26, 2021, the United States will require all air passengers (age 2+), including U.S. citizens and permanent residents, to take a COVID test, a maximum of three days prior to air travel

On January 21, 2021, the U.S. also announced that it will require international travelers to quarantine upon return to the U.S. Details regarding the policy are still under review by federal agencies. We will update this post as we learn more.

Here's how it works: 

  • Required Viral Test: The U.S. now requires a viral test (NAAT or antigen test), taken no more than three days prior to air travel. Many private labs and pharmacies in Costa Rica are equipped to administer PCR tests. These include: Hospital Cima, Hospital Clínica Bíblica, Hospital La Católica, Hospital Metropolitano, Laboratorios Echandi, Laboratorios LABIN, Laboratorio Páez, and Laboratorios San José.
  • Proof of a Negative Test: You must receive your negative test results prior to travel and must also have proper documentation to present to your airline.
  • If Positive: If your test comes back positive, you will be asked to self-isolate/quarantine until you have recovered.
  • If You Have Had COVID-19: If you have had COVID-19 in the last three months and have fulfilled CDC requirements to leave isolation, then you may present proof of your positive test, paired with a letter from your healthcare provider and stating that you are cleared for travel.

If you cannot or will not provide proof of a negative COVID-19 viral test or a documented recovery, you will not be allowed to board a plane (commercial or private) to the U.S.

Categories: Travel Guide