Travel Alert: U.S. Embassy San Jose (2 December 2021)

Event: Information on Costa Rican Sanitary Measures and Driving Restrictions Through December 31, 2021.
Costa Rica Nationwide Sanitary Measures and Driving Restrictions:

As of December 1, non-essential businesses may voluntarily opt to require vaccination verification via QR code for entry if they wish to allow 100% capacity. Those businesses who do not wish to require vaccination verification, may continue to operate at reduced capacity. QR codes received by visitors when completing the required Health Pass may be used by vaccinated visitors for this purpose. Minors between 12 and 17 years old will not need to present vaccine verification for entry to businesses until January 31, 2022. For an unofficial translation and information on the new requirements and continued movement restrictions, please follow this link.

All businesses must indicate with visible signage which type of operation applies to them, either the option of 100% capacity with vaccine verification via QR code or the option of a smaller capacity without verification.

At least through December 31, most businesses can operate (with voluntary capacity restrictions or required vaccination verification for 100% capacity) from 5:00am to 11:00pm.

Through December 31, continued weekday, daytime restrictions apply ONLY within the circunvalación area in San Jose. A daily nationwide nighttime vehicle restriction continues to apply from 11:00pm to 5:00am, 7 days a week during December.

· Mondays: Vehicles with plates ending in 1 and 2 cannot circulate.
· Tuesdays: Vehicles with plates ending in 3 and 4 cannot circulate.
· Wednesdays: Vehicles with plates ending in 5 and 6 cannot circulate.
· Thursdays: Vehicles with plates ending in 7 and 8 cannot circulate.
· Fridays: Vehicles with plates ending in 9 and 0 cannot circulate.

COVID 19 In Costa Rica:

Costa Rica has confirmed 566,839 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of as of December 1, 2021. 228 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, 83 of them in intensive care. Costa Rica has reported 7,299 COVID-19-related deaths since March 2, 2020.

Effective November 8, 2021, all non-immigrant, non-U.S. citizen air travelers to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to the United States.
U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) who are eligible to travel but are not fully vaccinated will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken one (1) day before their flight. U.S citizens and LPRs who are fully vaccinated will need to present airlines with proof of vaccination and of a negative COVID-19 test taken three (3) days before their flight.

At this time, all air passengers ages 2 or older, regardless of citizenship or vaccination status, must show a negative result of a COVID-19 viral test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the United States. For more information about these testing requirements, visit Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test or Documentation of Recovery from COVID-19.

Persons receiving a positive COVID-19 test may receive a mandatory quarantine order for 10-14 days, depending on the severity of the infection. Persons who receive a negative COVID-19 test who have been traveling with other persons who test positive may also receive a mandatory quarantine order for 10-14 days due to exposure risk. The Ministry of Health has sole discretion in issuing quarantine orders and the U.S. Embassy is not able to intervene. Failure to comply with a mandatory quarantine order can results in fines or other legal penalties.

Both PCR and Antigen tests are available in Costa Rica. Most results are available within 24 hours. Testing is available at medical facilities across Costa Rica. Please note, the Embassy has received reports of unlicensed businesses offering COVID-19 tests. Passengers presenting tests from unlicensed locations or falsified test results could be denied boarding, required to pay fines, or face other legal penalties, and required to retest prior to departing Costa Rica. Follow this link for a complete list of properly licensed testing locations throughout Costa Rica.

Entry Requirements:

Minors under 18 years of age and adult tourists fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac, Sinopharm, and Covaxin vaccines are no longer required to show proof of travel insurance. In the case of visitors from the United States, the “COVID-19 vaccination record card” will be accepted. Foreigners will be able to enter the country if they carry a vaccination certificate or card that contains at least the following information:

· Name of the person who received the vaccine
· Date of each dose
· Pharmaceutical company

Unvaccinated adult visitors traveling to Costa Rica will continue to need to provide proof of a medical insurance policy to cover any COVID-19 related medical treatment or quarantine lodging while in Costa Rica. In the case of international insurance, tourists must request from their insurer a certification issued in English or Spanish, noting: 1) the validity of the policy during the dates of visit to Costa Rica, 2) guarantee of coverage for medicals expenses in cases of COVID-19 related medical treatment in the amount of 50,000 USD and, 3) minimum coverage of 2,000 USD for extended lodging expenses due to COVID-19 related illness. It is also possible to purchase a Costa Rican medical insurance policy through the National Insurance Institute (INS) or Sagicor of Costa Rica, covering the duration of your stay in Costa Rica. Please send an email to for questions about insurance coverage or to verify your current insurance policy will be accepted in Costa Rica.

All visitors, regardless of vaccination status, must also complete an online Health Pass (Pase de Salud) 48 hours prior to travel to Costa Rica. The Health Pass can be found at Visitors will receive a QR code associated with their Health Pass.

U.S. Embassy San Jose    
State Department – Consular Affairs   
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444   
Costa Rica Country Specific Information   
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