Duty-Free stores have reopened after being closed for eight months, following the presidential decree to close the borders as part
of the measures to prevent the spread of covid-19 in the country. - Casa Presidencial photo -

Published Monday, November 2, 2020

Airports reopen duty-free shops

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Duty-Free stores have reopened after being closed for eight months, following the presidential decree to close the borders as part of the measures to prevent the spread of covid-19 in the country.

With the total opening of the borders and the reactivation of commercial activity at the two international airports Juan Santamaría in Alajuela Province and Daniel Oduber in Guanacaste Province, more than 50 people who work in Duty-Free shops will return to their normal working hours.

Due to the necessary economic reactivation, the government authorized the opening of air borders to visitors from all the countries on Sunday.

Visitors and residents of any country may enter the country, as long as they comply with the guidelines established by the health authorities to avoid an increase in covid-19 infections.

According to the government, approximately 90% of tourism enters by air.

"This announcement is given with a view to the high season that begins at the end of November and will allow the generation of income and jobs," Gustavo Segura, Minister of Tourism said. "Each tourist who visits the country activates a series of productive chains such as agriculture, fishing, commerce, transportation, tourist guides, hotels, restaurants, tour operators, among others."

According to the ministry, only the opening of commercial flights from the United States represents the possibility of recovering at least 80,000 jobs and making $1.5 billion income by 2021, which is equivalent to 2.5 points of the Gross Domestic Product, GDP.

The minister calls for all companies in the tourism sector to follow and apply the guidelines shared to prevent contagion of covid-19.

"The tourist industry is the backbone of the process of economic reactivation so that the country gradually recovers from the crisis that has been caused by the pandemic," Segura said.

The requirements to enter the country remain an order, such as filling out the electronic epidemiological online Health Pass and providing proof of having a Traveler's Insurance, which can be purchased in their country of origin or Costa Rica.

The Tourism Institute clarifies that in the case of international insurance, the tourist must request a certification issued in English or Spanish from their insurer, indicating the following three conditions:

• The valid period of the effective policy during the travel to Costa Rica.

• Guarantee coverage for medical expenses in cases of covid-19 infection while in Costa Rica, for at least $50,000.

• A minimum coverage of $2,000 for accommodation expenses extended, in case of being infected with covid-19.

• The insurance document, where these requirements are met, must also be uploaded on the electronic epidemiological online Health Pass.

In case of not complying with these requirements, the passenger will not be able to enter the country, the institute said.

In addition, when arriving in the country, the tourist must comply with the sanitary guideline that is indicated at the airport, such as:

• Wear a facemask at all times.

• Respect the social distance rule.

• Walk on the disinfected carpets.

• Allow for temperature taking.

• Follow any other instructions indicated by the officials at the airport.

However, the government calls on travelers with symptoms such as fever, dry cough, sore throat, tiredness, or the flu to postpone their trip to Costa Rica until they are in good health.

It is recommended for tourists or foreign residents who return to the country to contact the Costa Rican Embassy to request more information about the requirements ordered by the authorities to return to the country. The contact information for the Costa Rican embassies can be found on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

How do you feel about the dismissal of requiring a negative covid-19 test and quarantine period to enter the country? 
We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com

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