COVID-19 News


masked at the feria

We offer on this page information to help the greater Grecia area expat community adapt to the rapidly changing situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic in Costa Rica. If you have information you'd like to share that would be of value to the community, please send it to our Editor.


Updated 7 October, 2021
COVID-19 Symptoms If you think you're sick
US Embassy Alert including Travel Restrictions
and Immigration Update, 30 September 2021
Social distancing and Precautions Shopping

Dealing with a pandemic

At a moment of great concern for all of us living in a foreign country faced with a global pandemic and placed in an age group classified as “most-at-risk,” Que Pasa Grecia is providing relevant information on corona virus as it affects us in Costa Rica.


Symptoms

These are not all of the symptoms experienced by individuals testing positive for COVID-19, but here are the symptoms most commonly reported:

Most-Common Symptoms
Fever
Dry cough
Tiredness
Difficulty breathing (most-severe cases)

Secondary Symptoms
Headache
Possible loss of senses of taste and/or smell


If you think you're sick with COVID-19

If you think you may have corona virus, DO NOT go to a hospital emergency room, clinic or doctor’s office—possibly exposing others to this very communicable disease. Instead, call the Costa Rica COVID-19 hotline number: 1322 immediately if you believe you are presenting symptoms of COVID-19 or were exposed to someone who may have COVID-19 anytime since mid-February 2020. If you qualify, someone will be sent to your home to administer a COVID-19 test.

U.S. Embassy Alert: San Jose, Costa Rica 
30 September 2021

Level 4 Do Not Travel 

Event:  Important Information on COVID-19 Testing Requirements.  Costa Rican Sanitary Measures and Driving Restrictions Through October 15.  PLEASE READ ENTIRE MESSAGE. 

COVID 19 In Costa Rica: 

Costa Rica has confirmed 530,119 cases of COVID-19 as of September 30, 2021.  1,335 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, 440 of them in intensive care.  Costa Rica has reported 6,349 COVID-19-related deaths since March 2, 2020.   

Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative Covid-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of flight departure from Costa Rica.  Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel.  Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions

Persons receiving a positive COVID-19 test may receive a mandatory quarantine order for 10-14 days, depending on the severity of the infection.  Persons who receive a negative COVID-19 test who have been traveling with other persons who test positive may also receive a mandatory quarantine order for 10-14 days due to exposure risk.  The Ministry of Health has sole discretion in issuing quarantine orders and the U.S. Embassy is not able to intervene.  Failure to comply with a mandatory quarantine order can results in fines or other legal penalties.      

Both PCR and Antigen tests are available in Costa Rica.  Most results are available within 24 hours.  Testing is available at medical facilities across Costa Rica.  Please note, the Embassy has received reports of unlicensed businesses offering COVID-19 tests.  Passengers presenting tests from unlicensed locations or falsified test results could be denied boarding, required to pay fines, or face other legal penalties, and required to retest prior to departing Costa Rica.  Follow this link for a complete list of properly licensed testing locations throughout Costa Rica.    

Entry Requirements:  

Minors under 18 years of age and adult tourists fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are no longer required to show proof of travel insurance.  In the case of visitors from the United States, the “COVID-19 vaccination record card” will be accepted. 

Unvaccinated adult visitors traveling to Costa Rica will continue to need to provide proof of a medical insurance policy to cover any COVID-19 related medical treatment or quarantine lodging while in Costa Rica.  In the case of international insurance, tourists must request from their insurer a certification issued in English or Spanish, noting: 1) the validity of the policy during the dates of visit to Costa Rica, 2) guarantee of coverage for medicals expenses in cases of COVID-19 related medical treatment in the amount of 50,000 USD and, 3) minimum coverage of 2,000 USD for extended lodging expenses due to COVID-19 related illness.  It is also possible to purchase a Costa Rican medical insurance policy through the National Insurance Institute (INS) or Sagicor of Costa Rica, covering the duration of your stay in Costa Rica.  Please send an email to seguros@ict.go.cr for questions about insurance coverage or to verify your current insurance policy will be accepted in Costa Rica. 

All visitors, regardless of vaccination status, must also complete an online Health Pass (pasa de Salud) 48 hours prior to travel to Costa Rica.  The Health Pass can be found at https://salud.go.cr

Nationwide Restrictions:  

At least through October 15, most businesses can operate (with some capacity restrictions) from 5am until 9pm.  National Parks and beaches will be open from 5am to 8pm and may operate at 100% capacity.   
At least through October 15, a weekday daytime vehicle restriction based on license plate numbers will be enforced nationwide between the hours of 5:00am and 9:00pm.  A daily nighttime driving restriction from 9:00pm to 5:00am will also be in place national wide 7 days a week.  For an unofficial English translation of this announcement, follow this link.  Taxis, tourists with proof of hotel and flight reservations, and emergency vehicles are still allowed to circulate at all times. 

Assistance:
    
U.S. Embassy San Jose     
+506-2519-2000    
ACSSANJOSE@state.gov    
https://cr.usembassy.gov/     
State Department - Consular Affairs    
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444    
Costa Rica Country Specific Information    


Social Distancing and Precautions

The most important action: wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds frequently at home (and away, if possible—if not, use your hand sanitizer). If you go out, in addition to social distancing, be sure to take all recommended precautions.

I’m one of those in the at-risk demographic. So when I now go out, I’m not proud or a fashionista. I wear gloves, a face mask and my extremities are completely covered (I also carry a re-sealable plastic bag with disinfectant wipes and I carry hand sanitizer). I also avoid touching any surfaces with my hands. And, I especially avoid touching my face (mouth, nose, and eyes).
When you come back home, be sure to follow cleaning protocols - clean your shoes, clothes, self. Be sure to clean anything you may have touched on the way in and out of your house. Every time you exit your car, don't forget to disinfect door handles, steering wheel, gear-shift knob and other surfaces you may have touched inside your car and then go inside, remove your gloves, and WASH YOUR HANDS!

Practice 2-meter social distancing when in public. DO NOT touch others (perhaps, elbow bumping is allowed). A good article from the Washington Post and why this is so important:

The Importance of Social Distancing


Shopping

We hope you have discovered that many local grocery businesses (and restaurants!) are offering home deliveries (aka 'Express' or 'a domicilio'):

La Gran Bodega, the produce-heavy market near the Grecia feria that is popular with the ex-pat community, makes home deliveries, as does Supermercado Rosvil.

Both businesses will deliver groceries to customers in the greater Grecia area for ȼ3000. Use Whatsapp to send a text message with your list and directions for delivery. You can then call or text afterwards to confirm.

Gran Bodega: The number is 8886-7278. Please have your order in by 10:00 a.m. Contact is Karla, she speaks both Spanish and English. Produce always excellent!

Rosvil: The Whatsapp number is 8654-5447. Spanish only! If you can make your list as detailed as possible they will bring exactly what you ask for. E.g., “leche, 1 galon, marca Dos Pinos”. Make a list, take a picture of it and send to the market. They will call you back to confirm – you can pay with cash or credit/debit card when they deliver. Order early in the day.

In Sarchi, a similar service is offered by Pedidos, 8301-4753, and Fulvio Verduleria, (express delivery on the weekends), 8407-2365. Call them for delivery details.

PriceSmart in Alajuela also has an online service - order your items via their website, pay and pick up your packed order the next day. Again, if you use the Chrome browser, you can translate the site to English.