August COVID Travel Updates – Costa Rica is Opening!
The world in 2020 is a dynamically changing place and Costa Rica Beach Rentals understands how stressful and difficult it can be to find up-to-date travel information. This can be especially true if you have a vacation, wedding, honeymoon, or relocation that’s been put on hold, perhaps since mid-March. Some readers may have stumbled across this blog in problem solving how to return to their country of residence having departed after March 25th and now find themselves stranded somewhere other than the Pura Vida paradise they’ve come to call home. We at Costa Rica Beach Rentals have done our best to assemble the most recent updates on travel regulations from trusted sources so we can hope to ease some of your worry.
Let us start with a general breakdown on how Costa Rica has taken measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Authorities have broken the nation into Yellow Alert and Orange Alert regions based on the severity of the outbreak. Most of Costa Rica is classified in the “Yellow” region with the capital city of San Jose and the surrounding areas, as well as all regions along the Panamanian border, being classified as “Orange” and having tighter restrictions. In Yellow Alert Regions the “Closed Phase”, scheduled through August 21st , restricts driving to specific days of the week from 5AM to 9PM by the final digit of the license plate. Commercial and rental vehicles, as well as essential workers with proper accreditation, are permitted to operate normally. Most commercial business is open with capacity restrictions, including open-air tourism activities, and public beaches. Although the beaches have been limited to times between 5AM and 2:30PM. In Orange Alert Regions, the driving regulations are much stricter, but the restrictions requiring supermarkets to only sell essentials items and restaurants to close have been lifted. “Discos” are to remain closed for the time being, but shops and salons have reopened with business-specific restrictions, such as required appointments.
In news that will be uplifting for many stuck outside of Costa Rica, the government has lifted its travel ban for Costa Rican residents. Those who left after March 25th have been unable to return home via air travel due to restrictions put in place at the height of the global COVID-19 outbreak. A new decree states that if an individual can meet a list of requirements, re-entry will be granted. Returning residents can expect a 14-day quarantine. Pay attention to layovers and transfers, as changing planes in an unauthorized US state could result in being quarantined if your point of origin was otherwise an authorized point of origin. The 44 nations currently authorized can be found here and recent updates inform us that limited specific US states will be authorized in early September. All of the states currently expected to be authorized are in the Northeast and include New York, New Jersey, Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. Note that a completed “Health Pass Form” and results from a recent negative PCR-RT coronavirus test taken within 48 hours of your re-entry flight will also be required.
There is a lot of information to take in. With all the different alert regions, and varying regulations based on where travelers are coming from and where they are going, it can be hard to be confident in any plans or expectations. Costa Rica Beach Rentals is sympathetic to everything that’s going on and even though we’re having to overcome adversity alongside all of you, we want you to know we’ll be standing by here to be another source of informations to help ease your woes and inspire confidence in your next Costa Rica vacation, however far down the road that might be.