Covid-19 Update

Covid-19 Update

Last update: November 4th, 2020

Dear Students, Parents, and Volunteers,

November is upon us! Costa Rica is now allowing entry to residents of all 50 U.S. States! To allow for easier entry, the negative Covid test is no longer required to enter Costa Rica. Likewise, tourists now have even more options for purchasing the required travel insurance. 

Nothing in our programming has been cut due to Covid-19 protocols. We’re still offering dance, cooking, and yoga classes as well as cultural and adventure tours! Masks and hand sanitizer are a must, but we’re in full operation and couldn’t be happier to host more students from around the world. 

As always, see below for our step-by-step guide for entering Costa Rica. See information about entering the country, the safety protocol we are following at Tico Lingo and with our homestay families, the procedure in the event a student falls ill, as well as some helpful FAQ’s. 

Who can enter Costa Rica?

Below is a list of every country allowed into Costa Rica and the dates they will be allowed in:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Cyprus, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom, Uruguay and the Vatican.
Residents of these U.S. states: Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
Residents of these U.S. states: Colorado, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Montana, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Wyoming, New Mexico, Michigan, and Rhode Island
Residents of the following U.S. states: New York, New Jersey, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, Colorado, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, Michigan, Rhode Island, California, and Ohio.
Residents of the following U.S. states: Florida, Georgia, and Texas
U.S. citizen tourists for all 50 states and Washington D.C. may enter Costa Rica on flights departing from the United States.

Rules for entry:

Follow these rules for an easy entry into Costa Rica.
  • Have a valid passport from one of the authorized countries and a valid driver's license issued by one of the authorized States (only if traveling from the USA).
  • Purchase a travel insurance policy that is valid for the entire duration of a visit to Costa Rica. Coverage must include medical expenses in case of COVID-19 while in Costa Rica, for at least $50,000, insurance must also include a minimum coverage of $2,000 for extended lodging due to the pandemic.
  • Complete a digital epidemiological form. This is known as the “Health Pass” or “Pase de Salud.” You can access the form online here: https://salud.go.cr/

Travel Insurance Tips:

Currently, there are two companies in Costa Rica that are approved to sell Covid insurance, INS (the government insurer) and Sagicor (a private company). You can buy the INS insurance in conjunction with the Health Pass by following the link provided in the form or by following this link. You can buy a policy from Sagicor directly through their website.

Sagicor’s rate is a flat daily rate, which usually makes it less expensive for shorter trips than INS.The INS rate is more variable based on your age, trip length, etc. We have heard from students and other tourists that it is usually cheaper for longer visits than Sagicor.

International insurance policies are also acceptable, provided they meet the minimum requirements. Specifically, the insurance must cover at least $50,000 for medical expenses associated with Covid-19 and $2,000 in accommodation expenses to cover at least 14 days of quarantine. You can find these requirements on the Tourism Institute (ICT)’s website.

Trawick International
Insubuy
Allianz Travel

Pease keep in mind that these insurance companies have not been pre-approved by the Costa Rican government. Tico Lingo can’t vouch for the companies
We highly recommend emailing ICT/the Tourism Board with your policy information in advance so that you don’t have any problems. Print the email response from ICT and bring a hard copy in case you need to show it at the airport.

ICT’s email is seguros@ict.go.cr

Our advice is that if the prices are similar, to just go with the Costa Rican insurance companies to make life easy. These are preapproved so all you will have to do is put in your policy number in the Health Pass, and won’t have to worry about getting approval of your policy and a QR code that will automatically allow for entry. If there is a big price difference, then it can be worth it to do the extra work for getting an international policy.

How Tico Lingo is keeping students safe:

• We have a full-time cleaning-staff to maintain a high level of cleanliness at the school.
• We are limiting our group classes to no more than four students per classroom.
• We are asking all staff and students to wash or disinfect their hands before and after class.
• Hand sanitizer is now available in every classroom.
• We have advised all homestay families to follow these guidelines in their homes and have encouraged them to ask us for help in the case they can’t find or afford additional disinfectants for their homes.

Important Questions:

Don’t panic. Unless it is an absolute emergency, to reduce your risk of catching or spreading illness we are recommending all students stay home even if their symptoms are mild. Tell your homestay family you’re feeling a bit ill, notify Tico Lingo privately on Whatsapp, and stay at your homestay.

If symptoms worsen, notify Tico Lingo immediately. We will contact medical authorities and acquire the best information on how to proceed.
Notify staff at Tico Lingo and we will provide all necessary assistance. The Costa Rican Ministry of Health has a covid-19 hotline number (1322) for non-emergencies. We will call this number to discuss your symptoms, schedule an at-home appointment for a test, or schedule an ambulance to provide transportation to a testing location.
Authorities will issue you an orden sanitaria or a sanitary order which will require you to self quarantine for 14 days. Your program at Tico Lingo will go on pause until you complete the 14 day quarantine. We are giving students two options to complete their quarantine:

Option 1.)
Students can opt to stay with their assigned homestay family. For this option, each student will receive 3 home cooked meals per day and will be given a strict set of rules to follow while living with their family. The cost for the 2-week quarantine is $450 and will be invoiced separately from their Spanish immersion program. This is done so students can claim the expense against their travel insurance.

Option 2.)
Move into a private furnished apartment in Heredia. This option unfortunately does not include meals, but Tico Lingo will provide support with meal delivery as well as grocery delivery. The apartment is equipped with a full kitchen, internet, laundry, full size bed, television, as well as other amenities. The cost for a 2-week quarantine is $800 and, like the homestay option, will be invoiced separately so to aid in reimbursement by the travel insurance.

Additional Resources

Video Updates from our Program Director

Our Program Director, Chris, has been providing students with semi-frequent updates on the travel restrictions for entering Costa Rica.
Launched: Aug. 19th, 2020
Launched: Aug. 7th, 2020
Launched: Aug. 2nd, 2020