Starting November 1, all international travelers, including those from anywhere in the United States, are welcome to visit Costa Rica—and neither a quarantine period nor a negative Covid-19 test are required for entry.
The Central American nation, a tourism heavy hitter due to its jungles and beaches, had been previously admitting “select” international travelers from areas considered low-risk for coronavirus transmission.
Initially, that meant Americans from only a handful of states were allowed to visit Costa Rica. But earlier this month, the government decided that all U.S. residents would be let in starting November 1, provided they have negative RT-PCR test results obtained no more than 72 hours before travel.
Now Costa Rica has loosened those restrictions even further, dropping the testing requirement for all foreign visitors.
The country’s tourism minister, Gustavo Segura, told reporters that the move is being taken to give a boost to the ailing tourism industry, which employs more than 600,000 Costa Ricans.
As justification for ditching the testing requirement, Segura cited an October 9 statement from the Pan American Health Organization that said using Covid-19 tests and quarantine requirements was “not recommended” for the resumption of travel because those measures are not always effective and “generate a false sense of security.”
But the same statement also recommends that foreign visitors be “dynamically selected” by countries “in order to mitigate the risk of importing” the virus—a course of action Costa Rica will no longer follow as it opens the borders, in the words of the official entry requirements, “to all countries in the world.”
Segura did note that the new policy could be revised, depending on infection rates. With the coronavirus surging across the globe again, that could happen sooner rather than later.
International travelers headed to Costa Rica will still need to complete the country’s Health Pass form and have travel insurance with medical coverage. If you don’t already have insurance, you can purchase it through Costa Rica’s National Insurance Institute or Sagicor.
Costa Rica isn’t the only popular tourism destination that has gone the no-test, no-quarantine route. Mexico and the Dominican Republic have similar policies. Consult our roundup of Mexican and Caribbean travel restrictions for details.