Can Americans travel to Costa Rica (and other Central American countries) during the pandemic?

can americans travel to costa rica
Photo via Coral Blanche Hummer/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

After closing its borders to international travelers on March 18, Costa Rica began welcoming them back on Aug 1. The country opened in phases, first accepting visitors from non-US regions before allowing American residents from select states on Sept 1. By Nov. 1, everybody from the U.S. will be welcome, so yes, Americans can travel to Costa Rica during the coronavirus pandemic.

Costa Rica, at first, restricted American travelers based on the infection rate of their states. By Nov. 1, however, all U.S. residents could travel to Costa Rica, even as their country continues to set new records for daily coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

To enter Costa Rica, visitors must first fill out an epidemiological ​health​ form online. Upon arrival, travelers must produce a completed health form and show proof of travelers medical insurance. 

Once past the airport, visitors are asked to follow Costa Rica’s COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. The region follows the social bubble philosophy which says you must stay within the group of people you are traveling while moving through the country. Many of the nation’s beaches are open and some of the more popular locations have added bamboo markers to keep everyone at a safe distance. Tours are operating at 50% capacity. Masks are required within most indoor spaces on the island.

Many countries in the region are following Costa Rica’s lead and reopening across Central America. Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua are all open to travel, but each country urges visitors to take precautions and follows similar travel guidelines to those laid out for Costa Rica (find them here). Regions with small healthcare systems are asking visitors to do their best to keep their countries safe and hospitals occupancy low by following health guidelines. 

Read more on traveling during the pandemic:

Sources: The Points Guy, U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica

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