Ticos Who Arrive in the Country Must go to quarantine, Even With a Negative Test for COVID-19, but Foreign Tourists Do Not

Costa Ricans entering the country on commercial flights are sent to a 14-day quarantine, even with negative COVID-19 tests, a situation that does not apply to foreigners who decide to visit Costa Rica since August 1st. It does not even matter if they are nationals who have lived outside country for many years. They must still go through that quarantine upon arrival here.

This was the case of Johan Orozco, a Tico resident in Germany for many years and on Wednesday night, he received the sanitary isolation order once he arrived at the Juan Santamaría International Airport on the Lufthansa flight, despite having a negative COVID-19 test.

Orozco described the measure as irrational, since it ensures that foreign tourists are not given the same treatment. According to the Costa Rican, the test was carried out on Monday when he arrived from Frankfurt, since his parents are people with risk factors.

In similar terms, a Costa Rican who identified herself as Maria and has lived in the United States for a long time, together with her husband also complained about the measure taken by the health authorities. She entered the country in the pasts days, but her husband – who wants to open a business here – decided not to come because he would have to be in quarantine for 14 days, and for work reasons of work it would be difficult for him to do so.

Differential treatment
In a text message, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health confirmed this norm is applicable to all Ticos, even with negative test proof in hand. “In the case of Costa Ricans, the isolation order is always extended for 14 days,” the entity said when asked about this. The entity added that compatriots who arrive in the country from destinations that have been enabled, do not have the obligation to undergo the Coronavirus test as an entry requirement like foreigners do.
Additionally, the Ticos also do not have to purchase medical insurance as foreigners who visit us have to do, this insurance covers the costs of accommodation for 14 days and medical expenses that may be generated by COVID-19.

Until this past Wednesday, tourists who wanted to enter the national territory only had the offer of the policy issued the National Insurance Institute (INS). Amounts range from $ 240 to $ 840. Now, tourists who want to come to Costa Rica will be able to purchase the travel insurance of their choice, including those that are sold abroad. This was rectified by the Government in decree 42517-MGP-S .

The obligatory quarantine for Costa Ricans is recorded in the protocol carried out by Health Ministry after the reopening of the air borders. If Costa Ricans come on a repatriation flight from a destination that has not yet been enabled, the same applies.

“Why this act of discrimination for our own citizens?, when we should – as born in this country – have better privileges than the tourists or, at least, to be treated the same out of respect (…), because for me, if a person undergoes a valid Coronavirus test anywhere in the world 48 hours before arrival in the country and tests negative, then why should they be sent to quarantine,” complained Maria in her public statement.

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