Covid-19 Update

Covid-19 Update in Costa Rica

Last update: April 26th, 2021

Dear Students, Parents, and Volunteers,

Costa Rica continues to show it’s dedication to eradicating the spread of Covid-19 throughout the country. Some 248,000 second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech have been administered to medical professionals and citizens ages 58 and older bringing the rate of vaccination up to 13.53 for every 100 citizens. 

• All U.S. airlines have resumed flights to Costa Rica.
• A negative covid-19 test is not required to enter nor is proof of vaccination
• There are no quarantine requirements in place for anyone who enters the country who is not exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19.
• Nearly 100 locations now offer antigen tests for travelers in Costa Rica

Key staff at Tico Lingo as well as multiple homestay families have already been vaccinated. We will continue assisting our community with vaccine registration and will continue towards our goal of having all of the older members in our homestay family community vaccinated by mid-June. 

We are still offering Spanish, dance, cooking, and yoga classes as well as cultural and adventure tours through the school. Hand sanitizer is available in every classroom and common areas and a full time cleaning staff is on site daily to help keep students safe. 

Where can I get a Covid-19 Test in Costa Rica?

Due to the recent announcement by the CDC, The Tourism Board and Health Ministry of Costa Rica have launched a plan to increase private coronavirus testing options for tourists.

In Heredia, we’ve reached out and located a private clinic called “Labin” that can offer testing to Tico Lingo students. In Costa Rica they have 20+ locations and five that are within a 15-minute drive from Tico Lingo. They offer the antigen test and charge ₡30,000 (~$45.00 USD). Results are returned within 24-hours. 

Clinic website: Labin Covid-19 Test Details
Location: Nearest Labin Clinic to Tico Lingo

Who can enter Costa Rica?

Since Nov. 1, 2020, Costa Rica has allowed all countries in the world and all U.S. States to enter by air, as long as travelers of those countries meet Costa Rica’s visa and COVID-19 entry requirements.

Rules for entry:

Follow these rules for an easy entry into Costa Rica.
  • Have a valid passport.
  • 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 only 48 hours before you travel 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. 

Other Private Insurance Options: 
Trawick International
Insubuy

Please 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. 

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.

More Frequently Asked 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