COVID Air Travel Update – Costa Rica: Entry Requirements & Life on the Ground

PT 3 M minute read

The COVID-19 pandemic shut down travel to much of the world. Some nations are wide open to foreign travelers, some are partially reopening for direct travel, and other accessible via travel corridors.

This series focused on destinations that business aviation operators can currently access and what they’ll experience during their visit.

Accessing Costa Rica during COVID

Over the past few months, Costa Rica has been incrementally lightening restrictions in a phased re-opening. The country announced it will be completely open to passengers from all countries, including the United States, Nov. 1, 2020 in time for the traditionally busy holiday season.

Known for having very good healthcare and world-class resorts and tourist destinations and activities, the country is likely to a significant increase in traffic over the next few months.

Here is everything you need to know about the “new normal” in Costa Rica during COVID.

New General Aviation Terminal now available

If you haven’t been to Costa Rica in the last year, the first thing you will notice when arriving in San Jose is the new General Aviation Terminal, which officially opened in December 2019. The new GAT is located adjacent to the new Domestic terminal (outside of the main one).

The GAT reduces private operators’ time on the ground and potential COVID exposure, making both arrivals and departures much quicker for GA operations. Private operators will no longer have to clear formalities inside the airline terminal in potentially long lines, and passengers will no longer be separated from their baggage, which was previously mixed into commercial baggage carousels, adding more complexity to the operation and stress to the passengers. This will be even more beneficial in a post-COVID operating environment. Our blog article on provides more details and everything you need to know about the GAT.

Who is restricted from entering Costa Rica?

Starting Nov. 1, the country will be open to anyone who meets basic health requirements. This includes travel insurance that covers COVID and all passengers and crew must complete this health form in advance. The country’s three international airports are currently open to citizens of these countries and U.S. states

Quarantine requirements for Costa Rica

Starting Nov. 1, 2020, anyone who enters and passes the health requirements will not have to quarantine.

Costa Rica’s COVID testing requirements

Starting Nov. 1 no COVID test is required to enter the country. All passengers and crew must fill the epidemiologic form digital version at the following link

Types of flights operating to Costa Rica

Since the pandemic began, most flights to Costa Rica were for repatriating citizens. Since restrictions began lightening, there has been an increase in leisure trips.

Universal Aviation Costa Rica is our primary ground handler for Costa Rica with two locations in San Jose and Liberia.

Mask requirements

Masks are mandatory in all public places and on public transportation.

What’s life like in Costa Rica currently? Are restaurants, hotels, beaches and shopping open?

Most restaurants, bars, shopping malls and other public places are open and operating under high standards of health protocols. Beaches, national parks and most tourist destinations such as eco tours are open – many at full capacity. However, some destinations are operating under a restricted schedule and capacity limitations to comply with health protocols, so always check before you go.

Major upcoming events

All large events have currently been canceled until further notice.

Private transportation

Universal-Drivania Chauffeurs is providing ground transportation services throughout Costa rica, and its chauffeurs are following strict COVID-19 health and safety standards.

If you have an existing account, you can check pricing for chauffeur services online.

If you don’t have an account, you can signup for one for free and use it to check chauffeur pricing for thousands of destinations globally.

Intercity travel

Intercity travel is currently allowed.

More info on operating to Costa Rica

Thinking about flying to Costa Rica?

Our Trip Support Teams are ready to help you plan and manage all the details of your trip – from requirements and feasibility, to planning and coordination. Contact us online, and we’ll provide an estimate for support.  

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