Costa Rica has seen a record number of COVID-19 cases over the past few days, even though only a month ago, it was pretty much safe. On the other hand, more than half of Costa Rica’s population has also been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, despite the shortages.
On August 1, Costa Rica lifted its health insurance requirement for fully vaccinated visitors.
Cruises ships with fully vaccinated tourists are allowed to make ports of call in Costa Rica as of September.
January 13 – Costa Rica reporting record numbers of new COVID-19 infections
On Wednesday, January 13, Costa Rica reported 4,170 cases of COVID-19, which is now the highest number of new daily infections there of the entire pandemic.
The second-highest number was recorded on Tuesday with 4,050 positive cases, and last Saturday, January 8, which brought 3,374 new infections. Before that, the highest number was reported on May 12, 2021, with 3,173.
COVID-19 hospitalizations also rose in Costa Rica. On Wednesday, 242 patients were hospitalized because of the virus, of which 55 were in Intensive Care Units.
At the moment, Costa Rica has around 29,475 active cases. The CDC ranks the country at Level 2 – a moderate level of transmission – even for a spike in infections. At the moment, there are around 3,000 new cases every day.
Vaccination progress in Costa Rica
Like most Latin American countries, Costa Rica has faced vaccine shortages. Even so, it has managed to immunize, at least with one dose, more than 77% of its population, while over 70% has been vaccinated fully.
Why travel to Costa Rica during COVID-19?
First and foremost, Costa Rica has virtually 0 entry restrictions for vaccinated visitors. No test, no quarantine, no extra expenses, no hassle.
If that is not enough, here you have 3 excellent reasons to pack your bags.
1. Puerto Viejo
This Caribbean coast is popular among young people and backpackers because of its great beaches, surfing, and party atmosphere. In the town, nearby visitors will find some fun activities going on every day.
When in town, you must pay a visit to the jaguar rescue center where local wildlife is rehabilitated and released back into the wild.
2. Tortuguero National Park
Tortuguero is Spanish for “a lot of turtles.” With more than 77,000 acres, this Amazon rainforest-like is home to rivers, jungles, and “a lot of turtles” coming to nest along the shoreline.
3. Corcovado National Park
Costa Rica is known for its amazing national parks, where tourists can enjoy some thrilling activities like river rafting, canyoning, cave tubing, and wildlife spotting.
This one in particular is the right fit for adventurous people. It features 13 major ecosystems including a rainforest, highland cloud forest, swamps, and beaches.
Requirements to enter Costa Rica
As of today, there’s no need for a negative Covid-19 PCR test result as there was initially. All visitors must fill out a Health Pass within 72 hours of travel. This step is necessary for visitors to obtain the QR code that must be shown on arrival.
Starting August 1, vaccinated visitors are exempt from the health insurance requirement. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers must purchase health insurance before their arrival in the country.
It must cover potential quarantine accommodation up to USD $2,000 and COVID-19 medical-related expenses of at least USD $50,000.
November 23 – Costa Rica’s establishments to soon require proof of vaccination
While Costa Rica allows unvaccinated visitors, they will not be able to enter most local establishments from the beginning of next year. The mandate will affect most tourist attractions, including hotels, restaurants, museums, or bars, and should come into effect on January 8, 2022.
Children under 12 will not have to present proof of vaccination. Travelers who can prove they have a medical condition that doesn’t allow them to get vaccinated against COVID-19 will also be exempt from the rule.
Costa Rica still plans to welcome unvaccinated visitors next year. However, they might have to think twice before they go as hotels will not be able to host them.
October 12 – Costa Rica removed from the U.K. COVID-19 travel ‘red list’
Yesterday, on October 11, Costa Rica was removed from the U.K. travel red list, along with 46 other countries.
Eligible vaccinated travelers arriving in the U.K. from Costa Rica are not required to quarantine anymore at their own expense. They only need to test after arrival.
However, as the Costa Rican vaccination program lacks proof of vaccination for travel to the U.K., those who have received their shots in Costa Rica must test before departure, on days 2 and 8, and complete a 10-day home quarantine.
The decision should help restore tourism between the two countries, as well as an early return of British Airways and Tui airlines before the start of the high season, added Gustavo Segura, Costa Rica’s Tourism Minister. The whole process should also help Costa Rica get back on the European market.
September 8 – Costa Rica reports near-record number of COVID-19 infections
Costa Rica suffered its second-highest total of COVID-19 cases in a single week between August 29 and September 4, announced the Health Ministry.
During that period, the country registered 16,601 new coronavirus cases. That is, on average, 2,371 new infections daily. At its highest point in early May 2021, there were 18,021 cases reported in a week.
In the last four weeks, Costa Rica also saw an increase in deaths and hospital admissions. Between August 29 and September 4, 136 patients died of COVID-19 in Costa Rica. Before, there were 89, 105, and 127 fatalities reported each week, respectively. Hospital admissions continue to increase by 15% week by week.
Based on the estimates of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund, the situation will most likely not improve any time soon. We can expect to see up to 3,500 new cases a day by the end of September.
August 24 – Immunosuppressed residents to receive third COVID-19 dose in 2022
The National Vaccination and Epidemiology Commission (CNVE) announced that immunosuppressed people are included in the population to receive the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in 2022.
The 2.5 million dose contract is still being negotiated with Pfizer. However, more than half of the doses should be distributed to the pediatric population. The rest should go to immunosuppressed patients, the elderly, and first responders.