How I Got My Costa Rica Health Pass - A Mandatory Entry Requirement
Last Updated : Oct 2, 2023
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Mostafa Goes To Costa Rica
My name is Mostafa, I’m a 28-year-old Egyptian national living in the USA as a permanent resident. It’s not often that I think about the nationality of my passport, but every now and again a situation arises that forces me to do exactly that. This specific occasion was when my friends were planning a trip for the end of 2021. What would usually happen on these occasions is that my friends (mainly US citizens), would suggest a country in Europe and I would prepare for a grueling visa application process and to jump through hoops to meet the entry requirements. This time, however, the suggestion was Costa Rica.
US Green Card Holders Can Travel To Costa Rica
My heart soared. Costa Rica was one of the countries Green Card holders can travel to without a visa! All I needed was to present my passport and my Green Card. There were, however, two other issues. Firstly, I could only join my friends three days later than they would arrive as I was in the middle of a very demanding project. Secondly, due to the Covid19 pandemic, Costa Rica had a Health Pass that travelers had to apply for in order to travel to Costa Rica.
This might not seem like a big deal to you, but to a person like me who has struggled with visa applications for most of my adult life, it was more than just a bit of an obstacle. I decided that I was going to get my Costa Rican Health Pass application out of the way as soon as possible, to allow myself enough time in case something went wrong.
The Early Worm Completes The Costa Rica Health Application
I navigated to the Costa Rica Health Pass webportal with all due haste. The website was in Spanish, but I changed it to English by selecting the option in the top right corner. I selected the “Fill Form” option and was taken to a page where I was given one of two options:
Either travel to Costa Rica as a vaccinated individual and without the need to buy a travel insurance policy.
Travel to Costa Rica as an unvaccinated individual in which case travel or health insurance, with a minimum coverage of 50,000 USD, will be mandatory.
I thanked my stars that I was vaccinated and continued through the form. Next, I entered the details of my mode of transport (Air), provided the Airline, flight number, and the airport I’d be landing at. Then, I entered the date of my flight. Ah... I received an on-screen notification that said: “This form can not be filled at this time. The time range is greater than 72 hours of your flight.”
So much for getting my Costa Rica Health Pass application done and dusted. To make things worse, I realized that 72 hours prior to my flight is going to be right in the middle of the most demanding part of my project’s deadline. But having no other choice, I put the application to the back of my mind and continued with my life.
Prepare To Hurry Up And Wait...
To say that the next two weeks were crazy would be an understatement. It was a jumble of meetings, progress reports, and site visits. In between all this chaos, my friends’ group chat was a never-ending stream of excitement, places we should visit, and things to do once in Costa Rica.
Eventually, I received a photo of them all at the airport with a caption that read “See you soon Moz…” I sincerely hope so. It was now 72 hours before my flight, so I returned to my Costa Rica Health pass application with trepidation. In hindsight I should’ve created a mock application, just to go through the flow of the application, but hindsight is 2020.
After being able to fill in my date of arrival, I was taken to a form where I had to fill in all of my personal details. I entered my nationality, passport number, name, and surname. Next, I provided my contact details and my occupation. In the final segment of the form, I stated that I’m a resident of the USA and that I had no family members living in Costa Rica. I clicked next.
On the next page, I had to provide information about my flight and my accommodation in Costa Rica. I provided my seat number, the purpose of my trip (Tourism), and where I’ll be traveling from. I had to report any country that I had visited in the last 14 days, so I just chose “USA.” Because I was traveling alone, I left the “companions traveling with you” blank. Finally, I entered the address details of my accommodation (an Airbnb host) and clicked on next.
The next part of the form starts with a questionnaire on whether I was experiencing any Covid19 symptoms. I wasn’t, so I selected “None Of The Above” for all of the Covid19 related queries. Next, I provided information on my vaccinations, reporting the vaccine type, as well as the dates I received my two doses. I also uploaded my vaccination certificate as proof. As per the website, the only vaccines that Costa Rica accepts are AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, Covaxine, and Johnson & Johnson.
As I was fully vaccinated, I did not require any travel insurance, so I simply selected “no.” Next, I checked the box next to the terms and conditions, and finally, I clicked on generate QR code. To my utter surprise, my Costa Rica Health pass was completed. Just. Like. That. Three days later I was headed to the airport for a much-deserved break and some catch-up with my friends.
Mostafa Shares His Take Away
My saving grace was that I was vaccinated. If this was not the case, the process of finding travel insurance that meets all of Costa Rica’s criteria would have been much more demanding. The travel or medical insurance would need to meet the following criteria:
Valid for my entire stay in Costa Rica.
Coverage of 50,000 USD for medical expenses, including Covid19.
Coverage of 2000 USD for lodging expenses in the case of a forced Covid19 quarantine
A confirmation letter from the Insurance agency, in English or Spanish, stating my name, the dates I would be covered, and a guarantee of the above-mentioned amounts.
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