So what's COVID-19 life in Costa Rica like right now?
January 15, 20213 min read
With the world in constant state of flux right now, it definitely is hard to keep up. I know I for sure miss the days of easy travel and everyday life sans mask!
"So what's life like in Costa Rica right now?", you've asked.
First and foremost, I'm happy and grateful to be back in my own space that Gidget and I have made our tropical home. 💕
Well, Gidget has mostly napped through all of the sweat equity home renovations I've done...but supervising is a hard job!
As for everyday life here in Costa Rica?
Short answer... For me, my life is quite similar to my CR life pre-'Rona as the majority of my day, it's just Gidget and me.
I try to surf every morning (pending tides and waves), I work at home during the day, and then head to the beach for my sunset beach walk with Gidget OR a client sunset beach photo session. The main difference is that I always have a face mask and hand sanitizer on me -- either for when I enter an establishment or I can't social distance outside.
Long answer... It really depends on where you are in the country. San Jose, the capital city, has more restrictions than the beach towns. There are driving restrictions (certain days you are not allowed to drive, but does not apply to rental cars),indoorcapacity restrictions, and recently, Costa Rica tried to close all beaches starting at 2:30PM until 5AM -- but no one enforced it nor listened.
Overall, mask are required inside any establishment. In addition, you need to wash your hands(outside wash basins have been setup) or use hand sanitizer to enter. Some places even do temperature checks.
As of writing, international tourism in Costa Rica has picked up since Costa Rica fully opened its air borders to all countries in November -- which was much needed as Costa Rica's economy heavily relies on tourism, especially the region of Guanacaste where I'm located. Many people had gone 7+ months with no income and little-to-no-help from the government. Thankfully, here in the Tamarindo area, a food bank was started pretty quickly back in March with the start of COVID closures.
For tourists entering Costa Rica, travel medical health insurance is required to enter the country in addition to a completed Health Pass. It's a pretty easy process and you can read more about it here.
Side-note: I totally understand that it's an extra cost with the requirement to purchase travel medical insurance, but for me, when it comes to my health and emergency access to quality health care in a foreign country, I don't want to be in a situation where I'm worrying. Even prior to Costa Rica's travel medical health insurance requirement, I've always had travel medical coverage. As always, do what feels comfortable for you. :)
In addition, starting the end of this month, any international traveler entering the United States is required to show a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival. This means if you travel to Costa Rica in February from the US, before you return, you will need to get a COVID test done in Costa Rica(with a negative result) before you are allowed back into the US. Canada already has implemented this requirement. There are both public and private providers in Costa Rica that are able to administer the test -- click here for more info.
Side-note: I know both the travel medical health insurance and required COVID test before returning home are extra steps and additional costs -- but my viewpoint on it is the following:
If you are healthy enough to travel and have the financial means to travel (especially right now) , you are pretty lucky. If the extra steps and costs are not of interest to you, Costa Rica and all of her beauty will still be waiting to welcome you once we are on the other side of 'Rona.💕
And if you don't believe in the severity of the 'Rona, but are planning to travel to Costa Rica to party like it's 1999, please consider that Costa Rica is not equipped to handle medical outbreaks like the US -- there simply are not the medical and financial resources.
If you'd like more detailed and up-to-date info about traveling Costa Rica right now, you can check out more info via two great blogs,Two Weeks in Costa Rica or My Tan Feet.
As always, stay safe and I'm sending you all the best, Pura Vida vibes + magical sunsets from Costa Rica!