Costa Rica drone view of waterfall.

Do You Have to be Vaccinated to Go to Costa Rica?

Vaccines for Costa Rica

Costa Rica is the most visited place that is known in the Central American region for travel purposes. The country spearheaded the concept of Ecotourism for the rest of the world, a landscape loaded with flower and faunal variety. The culture of Costa Rica is a glimpse of Spanish and Mexican culture. 

This place offers various culinary pleasures that are very different from various perspectives when comparing them to the rest of the world. The local people are very friendly, and you might end up making many new friends by the end of your trip. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic globally, tourist places are vastly affected, and the same goes for Costa Rica. 

If you plan to travel to Costa Rica or need some basic details, do you have to get vaccinated for COVID-19 to go to Costa Rica? Or do you need a yellow fever vaccination for Costa Rica? Some of the tourist destinations have made vaccination mandatory upon arrival, and Costa Rica is no different. This blog will tell you everything you need to plan your trip to Costa Rica amid the COVID restrictions. 

 

Unlock of Costa Rica

Amid the lockdown, Costa Rica reopened for tourism in November 2020. The country has eased restrictions and is looking for visitors who’ll make lasting contributions to the local economy. However, due to another wave in 2021, the country has again imposed some restrictions for citizens and tourists traveling amid the global coronavirus pandemic. 

Costa Rica will introduce Covid 19 vaccinations for visitors later in 2021, depending upon the accessibility of the vaccine.

 

What’s the Covid situation?

Costa Rica was among the top countries in Latin America to receive COVID vaccines in December and 16.07% of the country’s population fully vaccinated (Staff, 2021). As a result, things are slowly getting back to normal with National parks and beaches open till 6 pm Restaurants, Casinos, hotels, and bars have reopened, but you still need to wait for the clubs to reopen. In addition, large group parties are banned in live concerts, and all the shops close at 11 pm, as night curfew from 11 pm to 5 am is in place. 

Cars with number plates ending in even numbers can move on even dates, and Cars with odd numbers can appear on odd dates. However, you will not face these restrictions on rental cars. Beaches in Costa Rica are open from 5 am to 6 pm, and National parks are allowed to open with 50% capacity. 

The country is also planning to offer year-long visas for digital nomads, which may be renewed for one more year. Digital nomad visa applicants can take their families along with them and will be exempted from income tax. 

The public transports are running at normal capacity, and hospitals are operational with limited capacity. Face masks are mandatory in all public spaces and all indoor settings. These are some of the restrictions that are imposed in Costa Rica for tourists and residents. Since the country is still reopening, make sure you keep an eye on the latest update, rules, and regulations. 

Will Costa Rica Require a Vaccine Passport? 

No, you do not need a “vaccine passport.” However, from November 2020, each visitor must purchase approved Covid 19 insurance and fill out a health survey to declare themselves symptom-free before arrival. 

 

Do You Need a Yellow Fever Vaccination for Costa Rica?

People arriving from a country in South America or Africa where Yellow Fever is epidemic must be vaccinated at least one week before entering Costa Rica and carry the record of vaccination with them.

Tourists who have visited Africa or South America and have spent at least one week in a country with no risk of yellow fever can enter Costa Rica if they have a normal body temperature when they land in Costa Rica.

 

Do I Need Vaccines to Enter Costa Rica?

Indeed, a few vaccines are prescribed or required to enter Costa Rica. The CDC and which have suggested immunizations like hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (lockjaw, diphtheria, and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, and flu for Costa Rica travelers. The Costa Rican government does not mandate coronavirus tests or complete vaccination as a requirement to enter the country.

However, you need to follow these additional requirements that have been established due to the COVID pandemic (Entry Requirements, 2021):

  • Need to complete the HEALTH PASS online within 72 hours before departure 
  • Each person must fill one form for acquiring medical insurance
  • Acquire mandatory travel insurance that covers lodging if the visitor needs to be quarantined and medical expenses for COVID-19 treatment.(Travel Vaccines and Advice for Costa Rica | Passport Health, n.d.).

Even if the tourist is already vaccinated, seeking insurance is mandatory and as described and remains in force.

 

How Safe in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is alluded to as probably the most secure country in Latin America. Even though the crime rate is lower, it is good to be attentive in crowded spots, keep every one of the resources safe, and abstain from going out into the dark. The streets in Costa Rica are not that smooth, so be cautious while driving.

You need to beware of the active volcanoes, poisonous snakes, and frogs (Travel Vaccines and Advice for Costa Rica | Passport Health, n.d.). Ensure you have enough safety information before visiting such places and be extremely cautious with wild animals.

For Fully Vaccinated Travelers

 

Before travel:

  • Ensure you follow all airline and destination requirements related to travel, testing, social distancing, masking, or quarantine to avoid any inconvenience.

During travel:

  • Wearing a face mask is required in flights, buses, and other public transportation or transportation hubs like airports and stations. 
  • Tourists can avoid face masks in outdoor areas of a conveyance. 

You need to show the return flight ticket to the immigration officer when entering Costa Rica (Jose, 2021). Therefore, it is good to carry a photocopy or softcopy of your passport with the entry stamp during your stay.

  • The number of days you can stay in Costa Rica as a tourist depends upon your country of origin 
  • Make sure you don’t attach personal documents like copies of credit cards, passwords when uploading documents to the Health Pass site.

As a tourist, you need to have a return ticket or a ticket to prove your plan to exit the country. (Jose, 2021). 

Tourists need to carry an onward ticket if they are:

  • Having on a one-sided ticket
  • Arriving with a return ticket that exceeds 90 days after arrival
  • Flying in and out of the country 

As an onward ticket, you can show any one of the following documents on approved, commercial transport:

  • A pre-purchased bus ticket  
  • A pre-purchased flight ticket 
  • Passage proof on a cruise ship

Conclusion: 

When entering or leaving a port in Costa Rica, if you carry an amount in the form of cash or utility which is greater than US $ 10,000, you need to get it verified by the Customs Authority at the airport. Whether you visit Costa Rica for the cloud forests, volcanoes, nature, and wildlife, you will have a good time there. We hope this blog will help you know more about the COVID-19 restriction, vaccinations, rules, and regulations for entering and leaving Costa Rica.

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