The government of Costa Rica implemented a series of restrictions on December 1, 2021, in relation to gaining access to certain establishments and public areas. Vaccination plans are progressing slowly in the country. Contagion levels are under control.
These rules establish additional controls to reduce the spread of Coronavirus at Christmas time
Transition period (December 1, 2021 – January 7, 2022)
The new “Requirement to Enter Establishments” establishes that during this transition period for the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, establishments may operate under two options:
Operate at 100% maximum capacity with proof of full COVID-19 vaccination to allow only fully COVID-19 vaccinated people.
Hotels, restaurants, bars, casinos, shops, museums, art and dance academies, gyms, spas and adventure tourism may operate at 100% capacity if all their customers over 18 years of age have the complete vaccination scheme. They must verify the above through the QR code or the printed vaccination certificate. To access these sites, citizens and foreigners living in the country must show QR proof of vaccination. They can generate this QR code on the website: https://usuarios.ministeriodesalud.go.cr. Tourists must generate their QR code before entering the country by filling out the health pass.
Operate at 50% maximum capacity and do not require proof (let everyone in regardless of vaccination status).
If unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people are admitted, the capacity must be set to no more than 50%. Hotels will only have to limit common areas to 50% while room occupancy can be at 100%. All establishments must have a visible identification on the outside that shows the mode of operation of the commercial establishment.
The following businesses are exempt from this measure during the transition period:
Hospitals, medical centers and pharmacies
- Farmer’s markets, bakeries, butcheries, pulperias (grocery stores), vegetable stores and supermarkets
- Funeral homes
- Pet clinics
- Delivery services
January 8, 2022 COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate
As of January 8, 2022, only people who are fully vaccinated will be able to gain access to the establishments included in the transition period.
This, however, does not include essential services.
- Children under 18 years of age are not required to provide evidence of vaccination.
- People with a duly accredited medical condition that prevent them from getting vaccinated.
COVID-Related Injectables Approved Costa Rica
Here is Costa Rica’s list of COVID-related pharmaceuticals against COVID-19.
The Russian-made SPUTNIK agent is not currently accepted in Costa Rica
Tourists Without Complete Vaccination
Or Inoculated with Sera Not Approved in Costa Rica
These tourists may enter the country. They will have to complete the Health Pass and if they are older than 18 years old, and must purchase a travel policy with a minimum of 05 days of validity that covers at least accommodation expenses and medical expenses generated by the COVID-19. This insurance can be an international policy, which must cover a minimum of $50,000 USD for medical expenses and a minimum of $2,000 USD for extended lodging expenses. They cannot enter commercial establishments that voluntarily choose to admit only people with complete vaccination schedules. This applies to people 18 years of age and older.
Tour operators have said that this measure is hasty and contradictory, since tourists are not required to come vaccinated, but as of January 7, they will not be able to enter any hotel, restaurant or leisure activity without QR.
For more information, please check the links below.
This article is merely a summary of the measures approved and implemented by the government of Costa Rica. If you plan to travel to Costa Rica, check the information in the links above as regulations may change.
Would you like to get first-hand information for travel or planning your expat journey, why not contact a member of the TCI Alliance? We will be happy to help.
by: Román Vergara