Five Passengers Rejected on the First Commercial Flight from the US to Costa Rica after Five Months

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    These are three foreigners with residence in the country who failed to comply with the requirement of being up-to-date with social security and two travelers who came from unauthorized countries

    Costa Rica rejected the entry of five foreigners from the United States, on the first commercial flight from that nation after five and a half months, motivated by a ban on the entry of tourists, imposed to prevent the spread of the novel Coronavirus.

    These are three foreigners with residence in the country who failed to comply with the requirement of being up to date with their payments to the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) and two travelers who came from countries whose entry into the national territory has not been authorized by the Government of the Republic.

    The information was confirmed by the press office of the General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners (DGME). The communications department, however, avoided answering how many passengers arrived on the flight from Newark Liberty International Airport, in New Jersey, operated by United Airlines.The plane landed around 11:45 a.m. local time at the Juan Santamaría International Airport (AIJS), in Alajuela.

    The Costa Rican air borders were closed to foreigners for four and a half months, given the state of national emergency declared due to the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic on March 16th. On August 1stthe air borders were re-opened to tourists from the European Union, Canada and the United Kingdom.

    On August 13th, Costa Rica extended the opening of its borders to Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Thailand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Uruguay and the People’s Republic of China

    Six days later, the country announced that it would receive residents from the states of New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Main, Vermont and Connecticut as of September 1st. Citizens from the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Colorado were as of September 15th.

    With the entry of the first flight, the country reopens its doors to passengers of its main tourist “client”. More than half of the people who entered the country by air before the respiratory disease pandemic did so from the United States.

    In fact, data from the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) for the first half of 2020, the latest available, show that Costa Rica received 341,886 Americans through its airports in the cited period; that is to say, most of the 667,894 people who entered at that time.

    The flights

    As of September 2nd, the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC) had only approved five weekly flights from Newark, New Jersey, and John F. Kennedy, New York airports. Four of them heading to the Juan Santamaría airport, from Thursday to Sunday, and one remaining to Daniel Oduber, from Liberia, on Saturdays.

    The Minister of Tourism, Gustavo Segura, recently affirmed, in a press conference, that the opening of flights will be done gradually, and that the people who will be admitted will be analyzed taking into account the epidemiological data of each area of ​​origin, in coordination with the national health authorities.

    The director of Aviation, Álvaro Vargas, confirmed that American Airlines also requested the opening of seven additional flights as of September 9th. Two would come from Dallas and five from Miami, Florida. This request is pending approval, the official said.

    Costa Rica asks tourists who enter the country by air to comply with different sanitary measures. They were imposed since last August, when the country opened its doors to tourists from the European Union, Canada and the United Kingdom.

    Specifically, a negative C-reactive protein (CRP) test for Covid-19 is requested with a maximum of 48 hours of being taken, complete an epidemiological digital form from the Social Security Fund, purchase travel insurance that covers accommodation in case of quarantine and possible medical expenses for acute illness, and the verification of your residence status via driver’s license or identification document that proves it.

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