Costa Rica Reopens Flights to Central America, Belize and Panama

Costa Rica

On October 8, 2020, the Government of Costa Rica announced the opening of the air borders for Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Belize, and Panama, as of October 15. Travelers may only enter through air borders; land borders will continue to be closed. The entry of travelers to Costa Rica from these countries will have several mandatory requirements:

  1. Showing a negative result of the COVID-19 test, obtained in the 72 hours before the trip.
  2. Completing the health pass, available in different languages.
  3. Obtaining travel insurance that covers quarantine accommodation and medical expenses for acute illness.

If a traveler does not meet these requirements, they will not be able to travel to Costa Rica. Private flights from unauthorized countries will be allowed and must meet the aforementioned requirements; however, each case will be analyzed via an exception mechanism on a case-by-case basis. Private yachts may also enter the country. If the travelers do not bring the negative PCR test with them or set sail from a country that has not been authorized until now, they will receive a quarantine health order counted as of the day when they set sea. However, these days will be deducted from the last departure that is registered in the yacht’s logbook.

Belize — open, with PCR test requirements

Caye Caulker, Belize. Photo by Aleksandar Todorovic/Shutterstock

As of Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, Belize began welcoming tourists from all around the world. Pre-departure, travelers are encouraged to get a certified negative PCR COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of departure. Otherwise, traveler will need to get rapid tested inside the airport’s clinic. Be sure to wear a face mask and practice physical distancing throughout the entirety of your journey. Additionally, you must download and verify information on Belize Health App at least 72 hours before departure. All tourists are required to book a certified Gold Standard hotel while encouraged to safely explore Belize’s Tourism Safe Corridor.

Belize’s tourism product is really two different destinations; inland, lush jungles and classic, beachy outposts. That includes hotspots like the popular Ambergris Caye and, more recently, the sizzling area of Placencia.

Costa Rica — open, with PCR test requirements and some restrictions

Costa Rica has been a tricky destination for U.S. travelers. Some people are allowed in, while others are subject to heightened scrutiny. It all depends on which state you come from, due to the vastly different health metrics, infection rates and safety protocols from state to state. This small country is one of the few in the world that has implemented guidelines governing visitors from individual U.S. states. As of November 1, Costa Rica will accept U.S. Travelers from all 50 states.

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