Coronavirus travel health
Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Costa Rica on the TravelHealthPro website.
See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commercial flights have now returned to almost pre-pandemic levels.
Entry and borders
See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Costa Rica.
Returning to the UK
Travelling from and returning to the UK
Check what you must do to travel abroad and return to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting.
You should contact local authorities for information on testing facilities (only available in Spanish).
Local authorities in Costa Rica have stated that travellers found in possession of falsified COVID-19 test documents run the risk of imprisonment and encourage the use of the authorised test facilities.
Be prepared for your plans to change
No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.
If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.
Plan ahead and make sure you:
- can access money
- understand what your insurance will cover
- can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned
Travel in Costa Rica
The use of private vehicles is currently restricted in certain areas and at some hours of the night. Restrictions vary as the COVID-19 risk level changes. The restrictions are usually based on the last number of the licence plate. You should check local information for the latest details.
There is a requirement for use of face masks on public transport, which can vary with COVID-19 risk levels. Check official information.
Public transport is operational with some restrictions. Taxis can operate at all hours.
You should find accommodation that is suitable for your needs. Hotels and many other types of establishment are operating at varying levels of capacity depending on the level of COVID-19 alert in their location. You should check local Information. For tourist advice, including accommodation and travel, call +506-2299-5827 or via WhatsApp messaging at +506-8628-3247 (English-speaking operators are available).
Public spaces and services
Access to public places such as restaurants, bars and other -locations where people gather can be subject to restrictions. These -may change as COVID-19 risk levels vary. Take note of official advice and information.
Healthcare in Costa Rica
If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms you should call 1322, a national telephone number, and follow the advice of the authorities.
British-issued prescriptions cannot be used locally. To find a pharmacy (“farmacia”) look for one of the big national chains such as Farmacia Fischel, Farmacia Sucre, FarmaValue, Farmacia Saba, or Farmacia Santa Lucia, among others; a quick search online should help you to identify the nearest one open.
For contact details for English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.
Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health.
See Health for further details on healthcare in Costa Rica.
See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.
COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Costa Rica
Wherever possible British nationals should aim to be vaccinated in the country where they live. We will update this page when the Government of Costa Rica announces new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.
The Costa Rican national vaccination programme started in December 2020 and is using the Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Moderna vaccines. The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine has been approved but is not currently being used. British nationals resident in Costa Rica are eligible for vaccination. The Costa Rican authorities have issued information on their national vaccination programme on the Ministry of Health’s website. This information is only available in Spanish. If you are a legal resident and are registered for healthcare, you will be eligible to be part of the programme and will be contacted to receive your vaccination through your local clinic. You should make sure that you have your current contact details registered with your local public clinic.
Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad page.
If you’re a British national living in Costa Rica, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider.
If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.
You should not visit the Embassy in person unless you have arranged this by calling the Embassy number (+506) 2258 2025 and been given an appointment.
Useful telephone numbers:
- in an emergency, dial 911
- for COVID-19 related issues the Costa Rican Tourism Institute has provided a non-emergency number: 1322
- for tourist advice, including accommodation and travel, call +506-2299-5827 or via WhatsApp messaging at +506-8628-3247