Costa Rica Begins Reopening for Tourism on August 1

Visit Costa Rica

Costa Rica will be reopening two airports soon.   Will Americans be welcome, too?

In a nutshell: Costa Rica says they’re ready for tourism with “strict sanitary protocols” while in Phase 4 of reopening so San Jose and Liberia airports will open on August 1.

Flights from Frankfurt, Germany and Madrid, Spain will be the first arrivals at San Juan/Juan Santamaría International Airport.

Travelers from the UK and Canada will be next, but no specific date as of yet. Overall, flights will still be much lower compared to pre-pandemic, with about five per week.

What about Americans? 
Banned again. No word yet on when U.S. travelers will be approved for entry to Costa Rica. ‘No entry’ is due to high COVID-19 cases, but you’ll be prepared when the welcome mat goes out.

This news also came out at a time when pandemic numbers spiked in Costa Rica.

What Will be Required for Costa Rica?
The Costa Rica Tourism Institute (ICT) also created a list of protocols that businesses/resorts must adhere to. Resorts must guarantee access to a supply of drinking water, antibacterial soap, hand sanitizer, and other items in common spaces with elevated cleaning and hygiene measures in high contact areas, and employee use of PPE.

Pre-departure must do’s:

  • Tourists must submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 48 hours prior to the trip.
  • Complete the epidemiological form, which includes personal health questions.
  • Purchase travel insurance that covers both (extended) accommodations in case of quarantine and medical expenses for acute illness.
  • Wear facial protection, physical distancing, temperature check.
  • Must have a valid passport (of course) as well as proof of intent to exit the country with your return flight ticket.

Arriving in Costa Rica:

  • Temperature checks and screening upon arrival.
  • Comply with the strict protocols of the air terminal.
  • Wear a reusable face mask (Check Priceshere's a protective mask option), bring hand sanitizer.
  • Carry your (resort) reservation information with you.

You Can Also Expect the Following:

  • Hours of the beaches located in areas in yellow alert will be extended from 5:00 am to 2:30 pm (surfing will be allowed).
    The yellow alert is considered Phase 3 allowing most commercial businesses to remain open on weekends.
  • A variety of outdoor tourist activities i.e. hiking, raft rides, water recreation, and aerial recreation will be allowed.
  • Resorts, restaurants, and national parks open at 50% capacity.

Resorts are ready for tourists, like all-inclusive Margaritaville Beach Resort on Flamingo Beach, which is open. Protocols are in place and can be found here.  Those interested in Secrets Papagayo will have to wait until  Sept. 4 for reopening while Dreams Las Mareas is looking at Nov. 1.  You can find more info on Clean Complete Verification here for Secrets and Dreams.

More Reading:

San Jose Airport vs Liberia Airport – Planning Information
Costa Rica Tourism – Statement on COVID-19 Updates


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About Donna Adinolfi 248 Articles
Donna Adinolfi is a wellness travel expert, a freelance writer, an award-winning photographer, and the founder/publisher of Her 30+ year career includes serving as the Travel & Spa Editor of Balance Magazine as well as planning wellness travel & retreats. An avid fan of the freedom from carrying cash or credit cards, Donna loves to visit all-inclusive wellness resorts in the U.S, and traveling to some of Mexico's and the Caribbean's many all-inclusive resorts several times each year. She's also a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association.
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