Travel is now picking up around the world, which includes both tourism and corporate travel as well. As passengers prepare to go abroad, governments have imposed COVID-19 testing requirements for people returning home after being in other countries.
Fortunately, COVID-19 testing in Costa Rica is widely available throughout the country. Here is what you need to know in order to help program participants best prepare for their trips.
Which COVID-19 Tests are Currently Offered in Costa Rica?
Currently two kinds of tests are offered in Costa Rica:
- Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests
- Rapid Antigen Tests
Where can Visitors Get Tested for COVID-19 in Costa Rica?
There are three options for getting COVID-19 tested for participants of incentive programs and corporate travelers.
Testing at the Hotel
Most major hotels offer travelers the possibility of testing onsite. Private labs can be arranged to come to the hotel itself and conduct tests on all members of the group.
Testing in the Airport in Guanacaste
There is now testing available in the Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste. However, as of the most recent update to this article, there is no testing available directly in the Juan Santamaria Airport in San Jose.
Testing in a Laboratory
Every province and major city in Costa Rica has authorized testing facilities. Some of the common labs and hospitals that provide COVID-19 testing in Costa Rica are:
- Echandi Laboratory (Laboratorios Echandi). This common lab can be found in the Daniel Oduber Airport in Guanacaste, in Limon, Puerto Viejo, Santa Cruz, Liberia, San Carlos, and San Jose, among other locations.
- The Metropolitan Hospital (Hospital Metropolitano). There are satellite hospitals in Quepos, Santa Cruz, Liberia, and San Jose, among other locations.
- San Jose Laboratory (Laboratorios San Jose). This lab can be found in Jaco and San Jose, among other locations
- CIMA Hospital (Hospital CIMA) in San Jose.
- Labin Laboratory (Laboratorios Labin) in San Jose
If you’re looking for the complete list of testing facilities, which number in the dozens, check the Costa Rican Tourism Board. This list is in Spanish, but includes all authorized labs and is updated consistently.
All travelers can be assured of safe and sanitary testing in the labs that have been authorized by the Costa Rican government. These labs follow strict international regulations.
Can Visitors Get COVID-19 Tests Results in Time Before Leaving the Country?
Yes they can. The COVID-19 testing infrastructure in Costa Rica has developed protocols specifically for visitors. Mosts tests facilities aim to return results within 48 hours of testing and guarantee results in 72 hours. Some labs, such as the one newly opened in the airport in Guanacaste, deliver results within 3-4 hours.
What is the Cost of COVID-19 Testing in Costa Rica?
There is no simple answer to this question. Each lab and hospital maintains their own prices for the different COVID-19 tests. Generally, testing can be found in the $60-$200 range. When scheduling itineraries with Premio DMC, the most convenient testing sites will be decided upon, including prices.
Are Appointments Necessary for COVID-19 Tests in Costa Rica?
Some labs require appointments, while others welcome walk-in visitors. However, we do recommend making appointments for travelers regardless, in order to make sure the test works within their itinerary. Premio DMC can make all necessary testing appointments for their clients.
Are There Contingency Plans for Travelers Who Test Positive for COVID-19 Prior to their Date of Departure?
All travelers who test positive for COVID-19 in Costa Rica must comply with a 14 day quarantine period. This quarantine must be supported by their travel insurance policy, which is a requirement for entering Costa Rica to begin with.
Premio DMC usually works with clients to consider potential contingency plans for anyone who tests positive for the virus, whether mid trip or prior to departure.
All travelers should be made aware of the Costa Rican government COVID-19 hotline 1322. Anyone presenting with symptoms or who have been exposed to an infected individual can call the hotline and receive guidance. There are English speaking operators available at this hotline.