Costa Rica reopens to US tourists, but only from six states

Lilit Marcus, CNNPublished 21st August 2020
People arrive at Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose, Costa Rica, August 3, 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
(CNN) — Costa Rica is joining the small list of countries opening to tourism from the United States -- but with some serious caveats.
The Central American country has announced that as of September 1, travelers from just six US states -- Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Vermont -- will be permitted to enter. Visitors will need a driver's license or equivalent government-issued ID from one of the six states in order to verify their residence.
The six northeastern US states were chosen due to their relatively low outbreak of coronavirus.
"In these six states there has been a very positive evolution of the pandemic and their epidemiological indicators are of high quality," Gustavo Segura, Costa Rica's Minister of Tourism, said in a press statement.
He added: "We are taking very gradual and carefully analyzed steps in the direction of the revitalization of tourism that is very necessary for the protection of the social progress that Costa Rica has achieved through this industry."
Private planes and yachts from the United States will also be allowed through Costa Rica's borders on a "case by case basis."
And Americans will not be the only foreigners able to visit the country. Travelers from Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the European Union are among those added to the "go" list.
All tourists will need to fill out an online health questionnaire in either Spanish or English and show confirmation of a RT-PCR diagnostic test with a negative result taken within 48 hours of arrival in the country.
Tourism is a critical part of the Costa Rican economy. Some 1.7 million people visit the country in a typical year.
As of August 18, Costa Rica had 29,643 cases of coronavirus, according to data from the US embassy in San Jose.