In case you’re planning to journey to Costa Rica, right here’s what you’ll must know and count on if you wish to go to in the course of the world coronavirus pandemic.
Costa Rica was one of many first international locations to open again up for tourism, which it did in November 2020. Round 1 million vacationers visited the nation in 2021 — again to virtually 70% of pre-pandemic ranges.
Nevertheless, the Delta variant hit the nation exhausting in 2021, with hospitals “dangerously full” on the peak, and Costa Rica ending excessive up on the board of essentially the most new circumstances globally. Circumstances then dropped to a few of the lowest ranges seen in months, however are presently at an all-time excessive due to the Omicron variant.
On January 24, the US CDC moved Costa Rica to its Stage 4 danger — or “don’t journey” listing.
Since March 2022, the nation has been implementing a “accountable and gradual opening,” as restrictions start to chill out.
What’s on supply
Costa Rica is thought for its “pura vida” (pure life), and, pandemic apart, the vida continues to be pura right here. This can be a nation for nature lovers, with each a Caribbean and Pacific coast, and jungle overlaying a couple of quarter of the nation.
Whether or not you’re right here for the cloud forests, the volcanoes or the unimaginable nature and wildlife, your shoulders will certainly drop just a few inches.
Most guests go via capital San José as a mere routing level, however it’s a gorgeous metropolis, with gorgeous structure, public artwork and museums.
Who can go
Everybody. Costa Rica opened again up — even for tourism — on November 1, 2020. Nevertheless, there are after all restrictions. And normal visa rules nonetheless apply.
Since January 2022, many actions are restricted to those that’ve been vaccinated. Though entry guidelines aren’t set to vary, restrictions on the bottom will make it much less enticing for the unvaccinated. You now can not enter a lodge, restaurant, bar or museum with out proof of vaccination.
In August, Costa Rica’s president signed a legislation that permits “digital nomads” to stay within the nation for as much as two years. To qualify, people should earn at the least $3,000 a yr, and households should make at the least $5,000. Advantages embody the flexibility to open a Costa Rican checking account and their native US driver’s licenses being honored regionally.
What are the restrictions?
There’s no want for a destructive Covid-19 PCR check outcome as there was initially, and the nation dropped the requirement of filling out a Well being Move earlier than arrival on March 1.
The requirement for non-vaccinated arrivals to have journey insurance coverage overlaying Covid-19 remedy was dropped on April 1.
Residents and Costa Rican nationals could also be topic to self-isolation on arrival.
The land borders, which had been closed to nonresidents, reopened April 2020 to guests not needing a visa.
American Airways launched flights from Chicago and Austin to San Jose on November 2, 2021. Avianca launched flights from Cancún on December 2. British Airways returned after a pandemic break on December 15.
What’s the Covid state of affairs?
Costa Rica has seen practically 83,000 circumstances and eight,300 deaths as of April 1. Case numbers rose quick in April via August 2021, and though they subsequently fell, the Omicron variant has seen a pointy acceleration in an infection charges.
A file 40,571 new circumstances had been recorded within the week main as much as February 4 — in contrast with simply 1,696 registered within the week main as much as December 31. Pre-Omicron, the file variety of new infections was 17,469 in every week, registered in September 2021.
Nevertheless, there are tentative indicators that the height may need been reached. The week main as much as February 10 noticed 37,389 new infections, with 21,712 registered two weeks later. By April 1, that quantity was 4,628.
Together with Mexico, Costa Rica was one of many first international locations in Latin America to obtain vaccines in December 2020. Over 78% of the inhabitants is totally vaccinated as of April 1, in line with John Hopkins College — although native numbers have lengthy ranked it at over 80%.
What can guests count on?
It’s good to be vaccinated to entry most public locations, together with lodges, eating places, bars and museums. Institutions should show outdoors whether or not a (voluntary) QR code is required to enter, and those who don’t require it should function at restricted capability.
Nevertheless, in case you don’t have a QR code in your vaccination certificates, you need to use the printed certificates or card you got by your well being authority.
Minors are exempt from vaccination necessities.
Venue capability depends upon whether or not the venues are checking QR codes. If they’re, capability has returned to 100% for cultural venues, nightclubs, outlets, eating places, bars, cinemas and theaters. If they don’t seem to be checking, capability is capped at 50%. Outside venues can now function at 100% capability regardless, since April 1.
Nationwide parks and seashores are working at 100% capability, and eating places and bars at 75% capability.
The nightly curfew from midnight to five a.m. ended March 7 as a part of the nation’s “accountable and gradual opening.” There are additionally no driving restrictions anymore.
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Again in August, Costa Rica was one of many first international locations to permit People in, opening to guests from six US states. Or examine this reforestation challenge for the nice inexperienced macaws. Able to e-book? Try what to do in San José.
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CNN’s Julia Buckley contributed to this report