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    COVID Travel FAQ

    VACCINE ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

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    1. What will happen on Jan. 8, 2022?

    All commercial establishments operating with a safety permit (listed at the end of this document), must only admit fully vaccinated individuals, verifiable by a QR code or a printed vaccination certificate. Essential services such as supermarkets, pharmacies, grocery stores, and hospitals are exempt from this requirement are the only exceptions.

    These requirements apply to Costa Rican citizens and foreigners aged 12 and older. The following groups are exempt from the requirement to present proof of vaccination:

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    a. Minors under 12 years of age

    b. People who have a medical condition, duly accredited, which exempts them from vaccination following the policies of the Costa Rica Ministry of Health.

    2. What does fully vaccinated mean in Costa Rica?

    The indicated doses for each vaccine are:

    a.AstraZeneca/Oxford: 2-dose series

    b.Pfizer-BioNTech: 2-dose series

    c.Moderna: 2-dose series

    d.Janssen (Johnson & Johnson): single dose

    Fully vaccinated is recognized as the total number of doses for each vaccine indicated by the pharmaceutical company, with the final dose having been applied at least 14 days prior to entry.

    COVID vaccines will be accepted so long as they have been authorized by a Strict Regulatory Authority (e.g. WHO). Cases in which the traveler receives a single dose after having been diagnosed with the SARS-CoV-2 virus will be considered fully vaccinated. In these instances, the vaccination documentation must indicate that it is a 1/1 dose (dose one of one).

    Documentation verifying vaccination status in the Health Pass must contain the following information:

    a. Full name (consistent with passport)

    b. Name of administered vaccine

    c. Date of each administered dose

    3. Which vaccines are approved by the Costa Rican Ministry of Health?

    Costa Rica has approved the list of COVID-19 vaccines licensed for emergency use by a Strict Regulatory Authority, which are: AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen/J&J.

    4. How will international tourists obtain their QR code?

    Tourists entering the country will receive a specific QR code promptly after their Health Pass (digital epidemiological form) application has been reviewed and approved.

    They will be able to use their designated QR code to enter

    commercial establishments (listed at the end of this document).

    5. What data protection standards does the QR code meet in Costa Rica?

    The QR code to be implemented in Costa Rica follows the European Commission format. The QR data includes:

    a. Personal data: name and date of birth

    b. Encrypted: vaccination information

    c.  Security data: unique ID, security information, country of issuance and the electronic seal of the Ministry of Health of Costa Rica (institutional certified digital signature).

    6. Will unvaccinated tourists be able to enter the country beginning Jan. 8, 2022?

    Yes. Tourists who are not fully vaccinated, or who have vaccines that have not been recognized by the World Health Organization, will be able to enter the country and stay with family, friends or in their own homes.

    They must complete the Health Pass and purchase a travel policy that covers COVID-19 care and quarantine, if they are over 18 years of age. However, they will not be able to enter commercial establishments (listed at the end of this document) that require full vaccination, except for the established exceptions (essential services such as supermarkets, pharmacies, grocery stores and hospitals are exempt from this requirement).

    Those exempt from the requirement to present a QR code are:

    a. Minors under 12 years of age

    b.  People who have a medical condition, duly accredited, which exempts them from vaccination following the policies of the Costa Rica Ministry of Health.

    7. Will unvaccinated minors under 12 years of age be allowed to enter commercial establishments beginning Jan. 8, 2022?

    Yes, Costa Rica only requires full vaccination starting at age 12.

    Unvaccinated minors under 12 years of age will be allowed to enter commercial establishments (listed at the end of this document).

    8 Will the Health Pass still be required to enter Costa Rica?

    Yes, the Health Pass (digital epidemiological form) will remain a requirement. A QR code will be generated once staff reviews and approves the Health Pass application.

    9. Can tourists use a rapid antigen test before entering a commercial establishment in lieu of a vaccination certificate?

    No. Commercial establishments (listed at the end of this document) must only admit fully vaccinated clientele beginning Jan. 8, 2022, except for the established exceptions.

    Those exempt from the requirement to present a QR code or vaccination certificate are:

    a. Minors under 12 years of age

    b. People who have a medical condition, duly accredited, which exempts them from vaccination following the policies of the Costa Rica Ministry of Health.

    An Appeal Is Presented In Costa Rica for Protection Against Compulsory Anticovid Vaccination Of Minors

    10. What is the transition period from
    Dec. 1, 2021 to Jan. 7, 2022?

    Commercial establishments are permitted to operate under two
    models:

    Fully Vaccinated Model (100% Capacity)
    Hotels, restaurants, bars, casinos, stores, museums, art and dance academies, gyms, pools, and adventure tourism may operate at 100% capacity if all of their clientele aged 12 and older are fully vaccinated. This must be verified through a QR code or a printed vaccination certificate.

    Unvaccinated Model (50% Capacity)
    If unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated individuals are
    admitted, the capacity must be adjusted to 50%.

    Hotels will have to limit the use of common areas to 50% (room
    occupancy will not vary). All establishments must visibly display
    identification indicating the type of model that they are operating
    under (listed at the end of this document). 

    11. Which adventure activities are required to admit fully vaccinated people verifiable by a QR code or a printed vaccination certificate?

    All adventure activities must only admit individuals with a complete vaccination schedule, including the following:

    • Terrestrial activities such as: Hiking, mountain biking, trekking, horseback riding tours.
    • In-air activities such as: Ballooning (hot air balloons), paragliding.
    • Aquatic activities such as: rafting, scuba diving, tubing, kayaking, parasailing.
    • Activities with cables and ropes such as: Climbing, bungee
      jumping, rapelling, zip-lining, canyoning, via ferrata, spelunking (caving), high ropes, pendulum (Tarzan swing).
    • Motorized activities such as: use of quad-cycles, motorcycles,
      boats, jet-skis.

    Legal Basis: Art. 4, Regulation for the Operation of Adventure Tourism Activities, Decree N 39703-S-TUR and its amendments.

    12. Can tourists who have recovered from COVID-19 enter Costa Rica?

    Each country has its own mechanism to verify the vaccination status of foreigners. This evidence must be presented by the foreigner via the Health Pass.

    This covers recovered travelers whose health authority has applied a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine. This is reflected in their vaccination document as a 1/1 dose (dose one of one). 

    All vaccines approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization will be accepted.

    13. Commercial establishments with safety permits that will require a verifiable QR code or printed vaccination certificate for entry beginning Jan. 8, 2022.

    • Restaurants, sodas, cafeterias and food courts, food trucks.
    • Bars and casinos.
    • General stores, department stores and shopping malls.
    • Museums.
    • Fitness centers.
    • Hotels, cabins or lodging establishments.
    • Spas.
    • Activities, organizations or congregations in places of worship,
      with more than 500 people. Events that do not exceed this
      capacity will not require a certificate, but must apply the current measures for physical distancing of 1.8 meters, with up to 500 people.
    • Event rooms for business, academic or social activities.
    • Adventure tourism.
    • Theaters, cinemas, art and dance academies, and
      establishments for artistic activities.
    • Sports facilities.

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