9000 Ticos Repatriated last Year Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

    They came from the most exotic places in the Globe

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    While international flights are recovering timidly, the Foreign Ministry made an inventory of the operations that were necessary to carry out humanitarian rescue operations in the worst moments of the Pandemic.

    The international border closure, which began at the end of January and lasted for several months, left thousands of Costa Ricans stranded in the most unexpected destinations. In the absence of financial resources, the embassies had to coordinate the logistical part to place the Ticos on the few available flights.

    A total of 9,000 compatriots completed the repatriation process, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Although most of the rescues occurred in Central and North America, the same required special operations because of the distance.

    The trips were made from 103 countries including points such as South Sudan, Guinea Bissau, Seychelles or Indonesia. Even two Ticas residing in Wuhan – the origin of the crisis – completed their return with the help of a rescue flight from Ukraine.

    “Together with Civil Aviation, the Ministry of Health and Migration and Immigration, dozens of flights were coordinated. Some had to cross two or three continents from remote places, where Costa Rica does not have a consular or diplomatic representation,” explained the ministry

    Flights also rescued in Costa Rica

    At the same time that thousands of nationals tried to return, many foreigners were stranded in the country. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there were about 18,000 people who managed to return to their countries of origin. On some occasions, it was even necessary to make reciprocal flights, where the same plane that brought Costa Ricans, returned to their country with their respective citizens.

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