Covid-19 Update in Costa Rica
Last update: February 4th, 2021
Dear Students, Parents, and Volunteers,
As we move forward into 2021, Costa Rica continues to show it’s dedication to eradicating the spread of Covid-19 throughout the country. As announced by the Ministry of Health earlier this week, Costa Rica will begin vaccinating citizens and residents who are 58 and older against the coronavirus. As of Feb. 1, the country has administered 57,701 doses (1.1 doses per 100 people) which now places Costa Rica third, behind only the United States and Canada, for vaccine distribution per capita on the American continent.
Our staff has been assisting our homestay families with vaccine registration and is aiming to have all of the older members in our homestay family community vaccinated by mid-March.
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 area 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 already created 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 no more than a 15-minute drive from Tico Lingo. They offer the PCR test and charge ₡59,000 (~$95.00 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:
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.
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.
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 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:
If symptoms worsen, notify Tico Lingo immediately. We will contact medical authorities and acquire the best information on how to proceed.
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.
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.