Published Monday, April 6, 2020

People can claim amount paid for canceled trip due to covid-19 crisis

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The majority of airlines, hotels and tourist centers have had to suspend their operations due to the control measures imposed by the government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus covid-19 in the country.

If people paid in advance for flights, hotel reservations, local transportation or local tours, the Ministry of the Economy gave a series of recommendations on Saturday for claiming the money previously paid.

According to the ministry, all consumers have the right to get the reimbursement of what was paid in advance or the option of rescheduling the service without penalty.

That rule applies to all types of payment for tourist services locally or internationally, said the ministry.

Authorities provided the following recommendations for the process of a reimbursement claim.

- Before making an advance payment, always read the contract terms. All companies must provide the contract before the client makes the payment.

- Before making a claim, check the company's websites for updates or restrictions on reimbursements.

- Some companies offer to reschedule the trip. In that case, make sure to receive the new contract for the new reservation to use within a reasonable period.

- Most of the tourist service companies are establishing flexible policies for cancellation or rescheduling. These policies must be informed in a contract.

- If you have not yet made a reservation for your trip during 2020, but you are interested in doing so, it is recommended to take account of national and international alerts in case the coronavirus pandemic may extend for several more months.

Before paying for tourist services, such as flight tickets, hotel booking, or local transportation, look for providers with flexible cancellation policies. Also pay for travel insurance to cover any issues during the pandemic.

According to the ministry, the information related to the coronavirus covid-19 is constantly changing for that reason consumers should be informed regarding the regulations in the country that may affect future vacation plans.

In the event that the company does not provide reimbursement or reprogramming of the service previously paid, the ministry started a phone line for complaints and inquiries, 800-266 7866.

The country is in quarantine until April 13th due to the increase of patients infected with coronavirus.

As of Sunday, there are 454 patients infected with coronavirus covid-19 in the country.

Of those patients, 26 are being treated in public hospitals, 14 of them have been reported in intensive care with delicate health conditions.

The patients' ages range from 1 to 87 with an average age of 39. Of those, 15 are children under the age of 13, 411 are between 18 and 70 years old, and 28 are elder patients over the age of 70.

Of those infected, 222 are women (48%) and 232 are men (52%). It was reported 423 infected cases are Costa Ricans and 31 are foreigners.

Sixteen coronavirus patients fully recovered. Since the virus was detected in the country in the first week of March, 4,644 people have been ruled out.

As was previously reported, two patients hospitalized in intensive care at San Rafael Hospital in Alajuela Province, both 87-year-old seniors died due to the coronavirus covid-19.

The spread of the virus throughout Costa Rica left the ministry to create a
map of the country on the UNED University website, where the number of infected people in each canton is updated daily.

As of today, the pandemic has killed 69,374 people around the world, according to recent statistics reported by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

Have you heard of expats who have not been reimbursed for prepayment of their travel expenses?   We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to


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