Region, COVID-19

Costa Rica eliminates request for insurance for vaccinated tourists. What requirements remain?

Esta publicación también está disponible en: Español
Translator: Arianna Hernandez

Since August 1, Costa Rica is allowing entry without travel insurance to tourists under 18 years of age and to adults who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with two doses of Pfizer, Moderna, Covishield or AstraZeneca or one dose of Johnson & Johnson.

Each traveler had to receive the vaccine 14 days before entering to be exempt from purchasing the travel policy.

As supporting evidence, U.S. travelers must present their “COVID-19 vaccination record card” and people from other countries need to show a vaccination certificate or card stating:

  • The individual’s name
  • Date of each dose
  • Brand of the vaccine
  • Lot number of each dose

Completing the “health pass” (pase de salud) 72 hours before entering the country continues to be a requirement regardless of age and vaccination status.

Other or No Vaccines 

Tourists without vaccines, with an incomplete vaccination schedule and those who have completed the schedule with other vaccines, such as Sputnik V or Sinovac, must continue to present travel insurance.

The policy must meet the following requirements:

  1. Valid for the entire stay in Costa Rica
  2. $50,000 of coverage for medical expenses if the policy is international or $20,000 if it is Costa Rican.
  3. $2,000 for lodging expenses in case of COVID-19 quarantine
  4. Certificate or letter from the company that indicates: name of the person traveling, validity of the policy, guarantee of coverage for medical expenses in case of COVID-19 in Costa Rica, coverage in case of accommodation. The certificate must be attached to the “health pass” for authorities to review and approve it.

Authorized national insurers are the National Insurance Institute (INS- Instituto Nacional de Seguros), BlueCross BlueShield, and Sagicor.

What are the approximate costs?

INS offers plans starting at $7.15 per day, Sagicor $11.30 per day and BlueCross $10.21.

However, policy options, and therefore costs, have varied over time. There are also international insurance agencies that offer more affordable packages, such as Trawick, Insubuy, Travel Guard and Seven Corners, according to references from the site Two Weeks in Costa Rica, from an American couple living in the country.

If you have questions about the medical insurance conditions, write to [email protected], an email address set up by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT- Instituto Costarricense de Turismo) for that purpose.

Visitation Strategy

The Minister of Tourism, Gustavo Segura, said that the measures are designed to increase visits to the country.

It’s important to make the requirements more flexible for those people who don’t represent  in terms of economic cost a high risk of serious illness or hospitalization for the state,” Segura said.

This month marks one year since the country reopened its borders to international tourism after the shut-down in March 2020 due to the pandemic emergency.

See the official document of requirements to enter Costa Rica here.