The ever-fluctuating list of countries allowing Americans to cross their borders has just grown in size. Costa Rica is allowing some Americans into the country beginning in September—but, as expected, quite a few restrictions for travelers.
On Sept. 1, the country is allowing Americans who are residents of eight states—New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.—to cross the border, and they must have driver's license or state ID to prove it. Residents of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Colorado will be allowed to enter on Sept. 15.
In addition to ID, all visitors must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken 72 hours or less before arrival. An online health survey must also be completed, and all visitors must have a $50,000 health insurance policy from either an international provider or a Costa Rican one.
Costa Rica will also permit private flights and yachts to enter the country starting Sept. 1, and here's where there's a loophole for Americans not from the aforementioned states: Visitors from banned countries who come via private flight or yacht may be subject to exemptions. Nothing is guaranteed, however, so before you gas up your private jet, remember that you could still be turned away at the border.
"We are taking very gradual and carefully analyzed steps in the direction of the revitalization of tourism that is very necessary for the protection of the social progress that Costa Rica has achieved through this industry," Gustavo Segura, Costa Rica's minister of tourism, previously said in a statement. "The idea is to continue shedding drops of hope: not to lose heart and to know that there is light on the other side of this tunnel."
Costa Rica had opened initially to international visitors on Aug. 1. Still, until Sept. 1, only citizens from the E.U., the U.K., Canada, Uruguay, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, China, Australia, and New Zealand are allowed in. As of Aug. 29, the country has seen 39,699 confirmed cases and 418 deaths. About 10 percent of Costa Rica's economy is driven by the tourism sector, which employs some 600,000 people—12 percent of the country's population.