We have an upcoming trip to Costa Rica – our first international trip since the start of the pandemic. The country opened its borders to U.S. citizens last November with no quarantine, negative test, or vaccination requirements.
That gave me pause for a long while before inevitably deciding to purchase our plane tickets and prep for this trip. A few key reasons I felt safe to do so are that Costa Rica was one of the first Latin American countries to start vaccinating their citizens and there is a good culture of social distancing, sanitization, and mask-wearing in the country. With no standing army to fund, the country’s budget goes toward a very good healthcare system here. I also work in an environment that puts me in close contact with a lot of people on a daily basis. This trip may just limit my exposure to other people for a week or so. We won’t be entering any areas that are deemed “Orange Zones” where cases have increased. Flying into the smaller Liberia airport (rather than the usual San Jose airport) and driving around the north-west portion of the country, we’re avoiding all of the areas that have had any kind of problems.
While there are no quarantine, negative test, or vaccination requirements, there are a few things that Costa Rica does require before you can enter the country:
- Fill out an online Health Pass with basic info and stating that you’re not experiencing any COVID-related symptoms.
- Must have Travel Insurance that covers a minimum of $50,000 in COVID-related cases and $2,000 in extended lodging expenses.
- The U.S. does require a negative test within 72 hours of your returning flight.
In the past, I’ve traveled with World Nomads insurance, however the verbiage on their policies led me to believe they wouldn’t cover COVID-related medical expenses. Without the 100% certainty and some recommendations from a few vlogs and blogs, I went with Trawick International who has an insurance policy, called the Safe Travels Voyager, designed specifically for Costa Rica’s requirements. For about $55/person, we’re covered for more than the country’s minimums.
This will be my first flight since pre-COVID, so I’m interested to see how different the travel process may feel. If the journey is what we remember, this whole atmosphere is definitely one not to forget.