Ever since the first time I heard of Costa Rica, it became the place of dreams. Why was Costa Rica recommended to me? The same reason I recommend it to you. With everything going on around the world, Costa Rica isn't just a great place to travel. It's a great place to purchase and live your dreams in paradise.
At the moment getting here is a bit of an issue. As is most of the rest of the world. But just hang tight, we will work it out. Let's get up to speed.
Towards the end of March, Costa Rica, the place of dreams, imposed travel restrictions on foreigners entering the country, basically following the World Health Organization's guidelines. That included many restrictions for the Costa Rican population. Some of the restrictions may have been over the top or not. Truthfully, past is past, and we need to focus on tomorrow. So where does that leave us in respect to tourism, ownership, and living your dreams here in Costa Rica? Let's see where we are presently and then speak to where I believe things will go in the near future.
As of Aug 2nd, Costa Rica opened its borders to almost everyone with considerable hurdles. As stated in the link below, Costa Rica is accepting people from Canada, UK, and the European Union. Residents of other countries can also fly into Costa Rica through any of the above countries with a condition of having had a 14-day stay in said countries prior to entry. Costa Rica is also requiring a negative Covid-19 test within 48 hours of take-off. The Covid-19 test is a PCR-RT test. My understanding is that this test is already available at some European airports. Costa Rica also requires travel insurance available through INS, the Costa Rican state insurance company. Yes, it's expensive. Next, a digital epidemiological form must also be submitted. The link to the form is also attached below. Lastly, the only way into Costa Rica is by air. Land borders are closed and will remain so to non-business travel. I do not have information on entering via water ports, but I expect they are being treated the same as land borders.
So why is Costa Rica being so hard on entry? It seems the government is under the impression, as is most of the rest of the world, that restricting entry will slow down the spread of this virus. The main objective here is to not overload the health system here, both physically and financially. Many people complain about the closures on the economy, and they are not necessarily wrong. But I want to take a moment and explain the financial aspect. Between tourists and seasonal or other workers, Costa Rica can have as many as 700,000 foreigners at any one time during high season. Most of those people do not carry any type of health insurance or contribute to the state system, even though the price of doing so is very economical here in Costa Rica. Imagine the financial burden on a small country of 5,000,000 people in providing free emergency healthcare to all those foreigners.
What is Costa Rica doing to adjust? And where do I see that going in the near future?
The government here traditionally handles adversity in the same way. Costa Rica puts out laws or requirements and then changes everything later. Yes, it's confusing, but it's something you will get used to when you're living here. The same will happen with entry/travel requirements. On a good note, the government has on several occasions graciously extended the time foreigners currently in the country can stay. With visa and driver's license extensions permitted until November 18th. I do believe they will extend the visa again should it be needed. The president has asked the social security ministry to rethink the travel insurance coverage requirements. My understanding is they will allow private insurers with coverage of medical expenses of a minimum of $20,000 and housing coverage of at least $4,000. Those are extremely low minimums, and insurance companies will have low-cost options. The PCR-RT test has a turnaround time of 3-4 hours. In the very near future, it will be easily available almost anywhere around the world. If you can have something sent online in a day or two, this test will be available. The health ministry has also increased the number of beds available for Covid-19 patients, so we are not hitting capacity at the moment.
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My Opinion Is: We are experiencing a very different life at the moment here in Costa Rica, just as other places around the world. We are currently headed into our rainiest part of the year. As such, I believe the government is just pushing things a little further down the line. I can't help but think the easing of restrictions are coming in time for high season, and Costa Rica will open up as other countries equally open. I would suggest keeping your travel plans in place. Also, this is a great opportunity to buy the home of your dreams here in paradise. Interestingly, many deals are being bought up as the dream is alive in Costa Rica. Get in touch with me now. The cold weather is just a couple of months away.
Link to the Epidemiological Form
Link to a great article by The Tico Times related to entry requirements