As COVID-19 ravages on in the U.S., the CDC has instituted a new protocol for everyone entering the country. All inbound travelers will now be required to show proof of a (viral) negative COVID-19 test, valid within the 72 hours before travel. As such, countries around the world are beginning to respond. Announced January 12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will require a negative COVID-19 test from all passengers arriving in the United States starting January 26, 2021. Following such expanded entry requirements, Belize and Costa Rica announced their plans in response to this new CDC requirement for US travel.
In response to this new CDC requirement, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), after consultation with the Belize Ministry of Health and Wellness, confirmed that testing will be expanded and made available to all passengers departing Belize for the US. At present, Belize currently offers rapid testing inside the Philip Goldson International Airport‘s arrival lounge. Further details including cost and testing locations across the country are yet to be determined. However, all individuals who plan to visit Belize can, therefore, proceed with their travel plans.
“Testing will be expanded to all passengers departing Belize for the U.S.”
The Belize Tourism Board recognizes that US travelers account for approximately 70% of visitors to the country. Additionally, BTB said it will continue to be guided by health protocols to welcome all visitors and ensure a safe experience from arrival to departure.
The Costa Rican Tourism Institute shared: “Anticipating that the government of the United States of Americacould take a measure like this, we’ve established a working group that is coordinating with private laboratories certified by the Ministry of Health to administer the RT-PCR tests in Costa Rica. However, the plan is to have these tests available to US travelers and tourists of other nationalities throughout the country; that is, for less than $100 each.
“The world is experiencing a pandemic whose trend is to take action and adjust to changes on the fly. Costa Rica is a destination committed to complying with health protocols, and we thank travelers for their trust.”
This news arrives as Costa Rica’s international arrivals numbers nearly doubled from November to December. December 2020 registered the entry of 71,000 tourists by air; almost doubling the visitation registered in November 2020, which was 36,044. The increase is due in part to the return of 20 airlines from Costa Rica’s main tourism markets. Not to mention, the announcement of new routes at the end of the year.