Costa Rica: COVID-19 Test Not Required to Visit

Costa Rica: COVID-19 Test Not Required to Visit

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Costa Rica Won't Require a Negative COVID-19 Test for Arrivals Starting October 26, 2020, per El Pais, a significant change from the country's previous requirement to receive a negative result from a RT-PCR COVID-19 test taken within the 72 hours prior to traveling. The change is prompted by the fact that travel and tourism comprise nearly 10% of GDP and over half a million jobs, directly and indirectly.

Although travelers won't have to have a pre-travel COVID-19 test, they'll still be required to complete Costa Rica's Health Pass form and carry valid medical insurance, either from Costa Rica insurers INS and Sagicor or other entities that will cover medical expenses of at least $50,000 should the traveler become ill from COVID-19 in Costa Rica. The coverage must also include a minimum of $2000 for lodging costs during COVID-19 treatment. 

Costa Rica reopens to Americans from all 50 states on November 1, 2020, so this is good news for those who would like to visit but may find it difficult to get a result back within the 72 hour time frame (while it's possible using Vault Health, there's always the possibility of a delay with the mail).

On the other hand, travelers who want to travel to a destination where new reported coronavirus cases are holding stable or decreasing should look elsewhere. As in the U.S., Europe, and other destinations, new daily COVID-19 cases have been increasing in Costa Rica over the past few months. On several recent days, new cases have been >1500. Given Costa Rica's population of ~5 million, that's higher on a per capita basis than the U.S., one of the very worst hit countries when it comes to COVID-19, and several times worse than Norway, which has a slightly larger population and has recently had a few days of just over 300 new cases.

Locales such as Bermuda, Anguilla, St. Lucia, and St. Barths are among the safest islands within easy reach of the U.S. to visit.

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